LED Tubing Gets Some Culture

Performers in the opera waving the fire ring bends around like flames

When the noted Adirondack Studios asked for a light diffusive tube for a “fire ring” I had no idea that it would lead to a trip to Chicago and some much-needed culture. All that I knew was that this fire ring was to be used in an opera. It was to be made in 16 sections, and each section was to be light enough for the ensemble to carry on stage and position.

The fire ring was large (to me) — 26M in diameter; but “it is grand opera after all.” The tubing needed to transmit and diffuse internal LED lights hiding the individual bulbs—all the while—maintaining a UL 94 vertical burning compliance. We suggested Eastman Chemical’s Stratus resin in a 6.5” OD tube.

Below: Their design— to our drawing— to the first bend on the block.

To images. The left image shows the design schematic of the bends. The right image shows the first bend on the blocks.

To the right, Adirondack Studios applied the transparent paint to the gray-stratus tubes below, inserted 16′ of LED strings, lithium batteries, and the wireless dimmers.

The extruded bends before painting
Top image shows a finished fire bend painted red and fitted with metal handle with battery back and controls. In the bottom image, a series of fire bends hang from the ceiling and glow bright red like hot metal.

Here, the members of the ensemble enter with the fire ring and form the fire circle.

Performers in Die Walküre using the red illuminated tubes to form a fire ring.

Photos are courtesy of Cory Weaver. Used with permission.

This project really caught my attention. Above is the final scene of Wagner’s Die Walküre where Wotan lays his daughter Brünnhilde down on a rock. He embraces her into an enchanted sleep while he ignites the circle of flame that will protect her from guys like me until a true hero will release her. The scene above is performed by The Lyric Opera of Chicago at the Lyric Opera House. My wife and I went to Chicago to see it. The opera was five-hours long with two intermissions. I thought that it would be a challenge, but Wagner’s music is enchanting, the orchestra was superb, the singers, the actors, the theater . . . It was surreal. Thank you Adirondack Studios.

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