Today we blog with Lighting Designer Michael Cole. Michael is not new to ADLR having served as Assistant Lighting Designer on our production of A View From The Bridge. Michael is a creative beast as an Artist and is bringing his own special brand of en-lightning Illumination to Maria de Buenos Aires... Opening Night is just around the corner...www.artesdelarosa.org
Adam first approached me about designing the lighting for Maria de Buenos Aires while I was on tour with a production of My Fair Lady. We had been having conversations concerning different philosophies of art and how art is influenced by life and how it affects life.
One day out of the blue, Adam sends me an e-mail telling me about a production he would be working on called Maria des Buenos Aires. Apparently the original lighting designer had taken another job in New York and would be unable to commit to the project. Being out of college for a year, looking for new experiences, I gladly accepted the project.
In the following weeks our conversations about art transformed slowly into me asking a lot of questions: what was it about? Why was it written? What in the world is an Operita?! Adam was able to send me what I can only describe as a research book. Filled with inspirational imagery, detailed history of the production, synopsis, libretto, pages of character descriptions, author biographies, etc. It was…thoroughly…researched.Normally, my design process would begin with the script as it is the “blueprint” of the production. As this production is based on the tango, however, it was more appropriate to begin with the music. The music itself was a joy to listen to. I could hear the colors of the production very succinctly in the dynamics and melody. After reading the script, I went back to the music to make notes and drawings that I felt captured the style.
The next step was to ascertain the tools that I had to work with. In working with the technical director/scene designer, we compiled an inventory of the lighting gear available. To do this, it was necessary to remove every light from the stage. Something that had not been done in years. The entire lighting system will be reconfigured for Maria... to suit her needs.In this production, the lighting will paint every scene to help evoke the spirit of the story. Strong theatrical looks, not limited by the confines of realistic lighting, will sculpt every segment of the story. Heavy use of color and angle will add to the tango drama that is Maria. You won’t want to miss this.