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Ute Lemper Live on Stage: The 9 Secrets

Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen OnAir with Ute Lemper on arte concert

After many years Ute Lemper, one of the few German world stars, returned to the Ruhrfestspiele in Recklinghausen with an interpretation of Paulo Coelho's "Manuscript found in Accra" while the great German filmmaker Volker Schlöndorff has delivered the idea of the projection of a landscape of ruins on a cyclorama: Stars shine. It dawns. The sun rises over the horizon, a day takes its course. The projection shows us in fast motion the play of clouds and cloud shadows on the ground. We see landscapes in wide-screen panorama, and only the crumbling walls let us suggest that here once humans have seemed.

The pictures let arise a sense of timelessness, a sense that this planet has existed long before humans and will exist long after them. In fact, these images created a strong visual element in the stage action, an own composition of light and shadow, competing with Ute Lemper's compositions on the texts from Coelho's "Manuscript found in Accra". She vocalized  the strong emotions that the wisdom of the Brazilian author have triggered in her, sang them out into the world - while excellent international six-member band supported her with a knowledgeable knotted tapestry of sound including elements of chanson, jazz, Latin American and Arab sounds. Ute Lemper explaines: "I have digged deep in my heart to grasp the essence of these wonderful lines and to find a corresponding beauty and harmony in music."

Ute Lemper performs on 10 May at the Ruhrfestspiele


The 100 minute performance was covered live with nine cameras for arte concert on 10 May by a skilled team of video professionals around Bettina Ehrhardt (Vision Director) and Max Penzel (Vision Design) with the support of TopVision’s HD OBVan Ü2 and an UpLink van of CrossCast.


The screen for the Cyclorama was delivered and installed by Höhnerbach Veranstaltungstechnik Duisburg while the three high definition projectors (Panasonic PT-D221 Pegasus) were delivered by Team Technik Recklinghausen. Delil Aziz adjusted screen and rear projectors and together with Sebastian Lempe of M² he delivered a perfect edge blended and worped signal on to the Cyclorama which formed the cinematic backdrop for Ute Lempers performance on stage. Volker Schlöndorff’s idea of time lapse recording of an ancient landscape was realized by Christoph Malin and Max Penzel in Tunesia. After some post-production the signal was projected in a resolution of 3,924 x 1,200 pixel and amazed the audience with brilliant colours.

Cyclorama and the two operators Sebastian Lempe and Delil Aziz


Ute Lemper and the musicians in front of the Cyclorama

To cover Ute Lemper’s performance in front of the Cyclorama the team of TopVision has set-up nine cameras on and in front of the stage. The two lead cameras were Sony HDC-1000s while the handheld cameras on stage were Sony HDC-1500s. A Blackcam track camera was equipped with another HDC-1500 on a remote head. One more HDC-1500 with an 86x zoom lens was located in one of the VIP lounges and supported the two lead cameras. All Sony cameras were equipped with Canon lenses. In addition we saw two remotely operated DomeCams on stage and one fixed HD1200 camera from LMP Lux looking onto the piano.


Camera Plan


All camera shading was done in TopVision’s OBVan Ü2 and the aligned signals than were displayed in the production gallery where director Bettina Ehrhardt together with vision mixer Sabine Quiter and partitur reader Margita Linde performed the live mix. Audio for the live signal was mixed on a Stagetec Aurus  by  Sebastian Riederer von Paar (Audiamus) and Jörg Goertz.

TopVision OBVan Ü2 with camera shading, production area and sound area


The HD SDI signal with embedded audio was then handed over to the CrossCast UpLink Van who transferred the signal via a Dorson 80cm antenna to the Limelight contend delivery network (CDN) in Frankfurt from where it was delivered to arte for distribution to the www with a guaranteed bandwidth of 3Mbit.

CrossCast UpLink van


Additional Production Information:
Ute Lemper was performing with a Neumann microphone while the instruments were covered with DPA microphones. FOH console was a Yamaha CL5 and was operated by Massimo Carli while for the monitor mix a Yamaha CL3 did the job. Fohhn Loudspeakers were used for PA and monitoring. Stage lighting was carried out with a Strand Lighting console.

FOH with Massimo Carli, Monitor mix, Lighting Control with Max Penzel



Idea, Concept, Music   Ute Lemper
Text                           Paulo Coelho, based on his book „Manuscript Found in Accra”

Ute Lemper       Singing and musical director
Henri Agnel       Arabian Guitar
Idriss Agnel       Percussion and Arabian Guitar
Vana Gierig        Piano
Romain Lecuyer  Bass
Philippe Botta      Arabian flute and saxophone
Massimo Carli     Tonmeister

Cinematic Arrangements
Artistic Director                    Volker Schlöndorff
Vision/Image Design             Max Penzel
Timelapse Photographie        Christoph Malin
Montage/Editing                    Sebastian Lempe
Production in Tunesia            Mabrouka Khedir
Production and Execution       m-quadrat

Festival Director                                 Dr. Frank Hoffmann
Administrative Director                        Jürgen Fiedler
Assistant to the Festival Management    Lilja Kopka
Artistic Administration                          Elisa Kock 
Stage Supervisor                                 Jürgen Büdenbender       
Sound Supervisor                                Corinna Wolfsteiner       
Sound Engineer                                   Sandro Grizzo       
Lighting Supervisor                              Annette Dell´Aere       
Video Technician                                  Delil Aziz    
Best boys                                            Thorsten Engels und Mirko Bartos

OBVan TopVision
Technical Manager    Achim Jendges
Disposal                   Kerstin Fluhrer
OBVan Manager        Manuela Prüstel
Uplink                      Crosscast
Cameras                  Patrick Feller, Ralf Lenzen, Daniel Taenzer, Benjamin Paxmann, Jürgen Koch
Domecams               Jörg Pohlig
Black Cam Operator  Stefan Zimmer
Sound Director          Jörg Goertz, Sebastian Riederer von Paar
Vision Mixer              Sabine Quiter
Partitur Reader          Margita Linde
Vision/Image Design  Max Penzel
Vision Director           Bettina Ehrhardt

The creative team in front of the TopVision Ü2

Production Manager             Eike Wendland
Producers                           Bettina Ehrhardt und Max Penzel
Line Producer ZDF / ARTE     Christian Schwalbe
Transmission Centre ARTE    Paul Gengenbach
Production                           bce films & more und m-quadrat
Editorial Office ZDF / ARTE    Dieter Schneider