Winter Gardens audience treated to epic performance by Light Odyssey at the Empress Ballroom

The BBC Philharmonic perform Light Odyssey at the Empress Ballroom to mark the start of the Lightpool Festival
The BBC Philharmonic perform Light Odyssey at the Empress Ballroom to mark the start of the Lightpool Festival
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Audiences at the Winter Gardens have witnessed just about every form of entertainment during the venue’s long history.

But Light Odyssey proved to be a first even for this classic venue.

Skilled technicians had spent the days ahead of last night’s concert preparing the famous Empress Ballroom for an epic performance combining sound and light.

Then it was the turn of the musicians from the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra to deliver a musical experience to match the stunning graphics and 3D projections shooting across the ballroom’s roofed splendour.

The challenge was to align the notes from a classical programme ranging from Barber to Britten with the illuminated images paraded across the Victorian panels.

The blank canvas saw animations ranging from sea creatures to a giant dragonfly brought to life above the heads of the audience, while shafts of light turned the auditorium to gold.

And with around 90 incredibly talented musicians making up the orchestra, it was a feat requiring absolute precision and control.

The smoothness with which this was achieved belied the immense work which had gone into preparing for the show including the setting out of dozens of light projectors and lasers around the ballroom.

The performance was the curtain-raiser for this year’s Arts Council-sponsored Lightpool Festival which will see more events taking place in the resort next week, including the return of a the popular Art Trail and a variety of free outdoor performances.