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Renaissance in Rimini
Italy – The Teatro Galli is a stunning architectural masterpiece in Rimini, Italy. Constructed between 1843 and 1857, the original theatre was designed by the illustrious architect Luigi Poletti of Modena and when completed, was one of the biggest theatres in Italy. Celebrated composer Giuseppe Verdi contributed the Opera Aroldo for the Teatro Nuovo’s inauguration and until an earthquake forced its closure from 1916-1923, it enjoyed great success. Following a first restoration, the theatre flourished until it was bombed in 1943 during World War II. Badly damaged, the theatre, by this time dedicated to the nationally famous musician, composer and critic Amintore Galli, lay derelict until 1975 when it was partly restored and the City Council moved into its refurbished foyer. In more recent times, a long and intense culture-based debate took place about how to best reconstruct the entire theatre. Following these discussions and with regional and EU support, a full restoration commenced in 2014 and was completed in October 2018. The fully restored Theatre Galli is nothing short of a masterpiece, one that UK technology company GDS has played a small but very important part in helping to paint.
Vastly experienced theatre-technology specialist, Decima 1948 of Padova, as part of its wider brief across the project, was responsible for installing the house lighting and naturally enough, sought to find the best possible light quality and dimming performance. Exceptional dimming, in particular, had proved problematic to source in the Italian market and having, through its rich heritage, developed a formidable reputation for excellence, Decima 1948 was reluctant to entertain any compromise on this vital feature in such a flagship theatre.
CEO Enzo Trovato was directly involved as a consultant to the project from its early stages and in 2016, he attended the ABTT show where he met GDS’s Darren Jackson, who subsequently arranged a presentation to showcase the Bristol-based manufacturer’s product ranges, as well as examples of their wide-ranging application. It was immediately clear to Trovato that in GDS ArcSystem, Decima 1948 had found the high-quality dimming that such a prestigious project deserved. Impressed with what he had discovered, the Decima 1948 chief demonstrated the products to the project architects for sign-off and GDS ArcLamp fixtures were added to the project inventory.
Decima supplied drawings to GDS, enabling Jackson to specify the products, which in turn led to applications engineer John Blamey travelling to Rimini to oversee the commissioning of the system. His impressions were universally positive: “Installers Decima 1948 carried out one of the best and highest quality installs I’ve ever seen. Everything on site was in perfect working order, which made for stress-free commissioning. The job was completely straightforward from our point of view, the system worked as expected and is a fitting addition to what is a tremendous setting. The Teatro Galli has certainly come a long way from being a bombed-out shell and it’s great to have played a part in its wonderful revival.”
This was the first time GDS had worked in Italy and the company was gratified to have made its Italian debut as part of such a prestigious and high-profile project. More than 450 ArcLamp 24V FTW (Fade to Warm) Candle Clear 2700K fixtures were installed at Teatro Galli as part of what has been the largest theatre restoration of its kind in Italy. Reflecting on a successful new partnership, GDS business development manager, Darren’s Jackson, could not have been happier: “It’s an absolute honour to be working with a company that has such a truly amazing heritage in the theatre sector. Having found a partner of such calibre it seems entirely fitting that we began GDS’s Italian journey with such a historically important and prestigious project. What Decima 1948 have achieved within the theatre is nothing short of spectacular.”
Enzo Trovato, CEO at Decima 1948 was sure he had made the right choice: “We were looking for the best lighting product that gave us top-performing theatrical dimming and GDS delivered on both fronts. The quality is exceptional and we are delighted with the end result.”
From success to dereliction and back, Teatro Galli opened its doors to the paying public for the first time in 75 years on 28th October, 2018. Multi-award-winning Mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli took to the stage to launch a two-month run of special inaugural events that will place this cherished venue firmly back on the map. When the GDS ArcLamps dimmed for the very first performance, a renaissance was complete.
29th November 2018
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