The career path into stage lighting does not always run straight. Oleksandr Riabenko of Lightek was a DJ in high school before entering medical school in his home country of Ukraine. He graduated as a doctor and practiced until he made the switch to stage lighting in the early ‘90s.
At first interested in sales, he soon realized that his talent was for system integration. In an interesting twist, his first project for the company was to install an American made PA into a local town hall designed specifically for deaf people. This stretched his skill set so he embarked on a second university degree, this time in acoustical engineering. He then worked on local concert tours as a Front of House engineer.
As a small regional company based in Odessa, Lightek has to do more than just audio. They also supply full-service turnkey lighting systems to its clients. This meant more studying for Riabenko, who soon picked up the basics of stage lighting. “Our production team has quite a breadth of knowledge and we all work together and share information,” he explains. To round out his theatre knowledge, he took a third degree in theatre direction.
When Riabenko joined Lightek he encouraged them to branch out from selling boxed goods to full-service installations such as a 16,000-seat soccer stadium and a philharmonic hall. “The timing was perfect,” he says. “We are now able to bid on all the production components of government contracts.” The company offers design input, sales, installation, documentation and employee training for every state job. Their technicians regularly attend training sessions at ETC GmbH. Riabenko was excited by the rigging seminars at Workshop 2018 noting, “There is no shortage of old rigging systems that need to be upgraded in my home country.”
He is still a huge fan of ETC Sensor3 technology. “For many of our jobs, Sensor 3 is the engine we turn to – it has flexibility and is extremely reliable,” says Riabenko, “I also look forward to any new products that come from the new partnership with High End Systems.”