“Time is like a river,” wrote the great Roman philosopher-emperor Marcu Aurelius, observing that moments of beauty inevitably vanish as quickly as they arise, swept away by the passing of days. Such a moment occurred in May 1972, when two young, emerging folk singers got together in Rome to record Theorius Campus.
Although the album had only limited success, the raw talent of Antonelli Venditti and Francesco de Gregori left an indelible impression on all who heard it. Great things were predicted for both singers, and great things they achieved in Italy and beyond, but not together.
The two parted ways shortly after that initial recording, never to appear on the same stage again, until this June when, a half century after their joint debut, the legends began an Italian tour with a pair of shows at Rome’s Olympic Stadium.
Celebrating the emotional power of this reunion, while also reflecting the unique styles and personalities that the two stars have developed over the years, was an expansive and multi-faceted Massimo Tomasino lighting design that featured 34 CHAUVET Professional Maverick MK2 Wash fixtures supplied by Fumasoli Audio & Lights Rental.
Hung on a massive geometric structure that reached over 24’ in height, the high output RGBW wash fixtures helped Tomasino evoke thought-provoking moods by covering the stage with redolent color combinations that conjured up feelings associated with the artists’ rich past. At other times, he transitioned to brighter colors for upbeat songs, before endowing the stage with deep purples, suggestive of Venditti and de Gregori’s royalty status in the pantheon of Italian music stars.
“We used the 69 channel mode with these fixtures,” said Tomasino. “They are very versatile, which helped us cover the wide range of moods found in the music. We positioned the Mavericks on the front section of the towers Their zoom range helped us change looks, as we used them as a wash or a beam wash.”Crossing patterns of light from this Maverick fixtures and layering them at different intensity levels, Tomasino was able to accentuate the captivating geometric grace of the backdrop. Rather than being arranged in a straight configuration, the “cubes” of this structure moved in and out, creating an accordion-like effect. This gave the stage a greater sense of depth, and in the process engendered a moving level of intimacy between the two icons and their fans.
Tomasino’s inventive looks also underscored the connection between Venditti and de Gregori themselves, gifted artists whose paths had crossed at the start of their careers, before they were carried apart by the river of time, but now were joined again.