It’s an understatement to say that there isn’t a bottomless pit of money available for council-run public events these days. And although it’s obvious that fireworks aren’t a “frontline service”, there are very few cheaper ways to entertain people for such a low cost per person. Still, it’s as understandable as it is sad that many events and displays have simply fallen by the wayside. Some, however, are still operating on reduced budgets, and some previously free events have been given a stay of execution by making them ticketed and paid-for events. In the last camp is Leeds City Council’s Opera in the Park which has been running for several years now the night before the pop music Party in the Park event. Part of the sweetener for the now paying audience was the addition of a fireworks display choreographed to the final piece of the evening, and Alchemy were delighted to get the nod from Ian and Paul to produce this new display in the grounds of the stunning Temple Newsam stately home.
Due to a line of tall trees in the backstage area we came up with the solution of firing stage pyrotechnics from 3 cherry pickers located stage left, right and directly behind the apex of the orbit. These digitally fired short sharp sequences accentuated the detailed instrumentation of certain points of the music. In addition there were hundreds of shells, far enough back to compensate for the fact that large material was required for the effects to clearly visible to the audience over the trees.
It was really pleasing to get a call on the radio straight after the show from Paul to thank us for producing a fantastic firework display. And judging by the sound of the audience reaction to both the musical performance and the fireworks we think they felt it was money well spent.