The Rossini Opera Festival (ROF) is an international music festival held in August of each year in Pesaro, Italy, the birthplace of the opera composer Gioachino Rossini. The festival – and its technical team – have always paid close attention to technical innovation, often leading new trends in the field of operatic lighting.

“Here we’ve experienced the whole journey of theatrical lighting, starting forty years ago with analogue systems, incandescent or discharge sources. Then there was the transition to digital, the advent of the scroller, the first scanners, the yoke, the moving head and now we have LEDs used to their full capabilities,” says Fabio Rossi, head of the festival’s lighting department.

For an event like the Rossini Festival, where almost all the shows are like intricate works of art, the technical equipment used is of utmost importance. “The products used must be silent, high quality, versatile and, above all, reliable,” continues Rossi. “The equipment is subjected to intensive use, it must remain operative for up to sixteen hours a day, for more than two consecutive months in rather high ambient temperatures. In this context, the console – the heart of the system – must be absolutely guaranteed to work reliably.”

Serendipity played a crucial role in the inclusion of ETC’s Gio @5 lighting console in the festival. “My personal encounter with Eos was rather fortuitous,” says Rossi. “I was working in a theatre in Eastern Europe and a series of unexpected events meant I found myself working on an ETC Gio, without ever having seen one before. In about an hour I was able to configure it and have enough control to do exactly what I needed. This eventually led to Gio @5 becoming our core system here.”

Gio @5 is a powerful and versatile console, which takes full advantage of the features offered by Eos software, albeit in a compact package. “The features that convinced us to choose an Eos system over other brands are the simplicity of programming; the cue management system, the particularly high-performance tracking system; but most importantly the color management,” concludes Rossi.

During the course of the festival, several people were tasked with operating the console and their experiences were overwhelmingly positive. “The system appeared stable and well organized, the learning curve was fast and I immediately realized that Gio @5 offers a wide choice of options,” says operator Alberto Cannoni.

“The network configuration and the patch were simple and immediate. In recording and editing the cues I found the pleasure of working with a machine that meets the classic needs of a theatre console. Working in Blind also represents a quick and effective solution for tracking,” concludes Andrea Valentini.