The Chatsworth Luminaire

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It was pouring down with rain as we set off for Derbyshire last Saturday. The weather forecast, though, promised that the rain would clear during the day and we were banking on that as we had tickets for the Luminaire show at Chatsworth that evening which was partly located in the grounds of the Stately Home. Luckily the BBC weather forecasters got it right. By the evening the skies had cleared for a cloudless, chilly evening.

The Luminaire took place over four evenings. Visitors promenaded through the house and gardens along a set trail to witness a series of lighting effects, video projections and music.  The spectacle was inspired by a selection of drawings of Oberon, the Fairy Prince by the architect, Inigo Jones, created in the early 1600s, which were part of his designs for costumes, sets and stage effects for the ‘Masque of Oberon, the Faery Prince’ a play by Ben Johnson.

The event started at 7 o’clock, as night drew in. We had tickets for the house tour at 8 so decided to explore the grounds first. Various lighting effects were employed.

There were projections of animated images on the side of the house and some other buildings

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The Emperor Fountain was lit up

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Statues and sculptures were illuminated by spotlights

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Candles were floated on the round pond

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The Cascade was illuminated

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Then inside the house where candles and subtle lighting were used to create an atmosphere that must have been similar to that experienced by the extremely wealthy residents and visitors in the house before the age of the electric light.

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Of course, these photographs can’t do justice to the experience.

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