The Artist as Set Designer

On June 19, I saw the English National Opera’s production of Tristan und Isolde. Besides the cast, the house advertised its collaboration with the British-Indian artist Anish Kappoor, who doubled as the production’s set designer. Employing a famous artist as a set designer is an appealing double whammy for opera houses, promising both creative constructions onstage and a household name to attract audiences and coverage.

Kapoor is exactly the kind of artist to attract such audiences, as his large-scale public sculptures—such as Cloud Gate (2006) in Chicago’s Millennium Park (also nicknamed “the Bean”)—have largely been met with popular approval. Kapoor’s services have been utilized several times by opera companies in recent years: in 2012 he designed the set for the Dutch National Opera’s production of Parsifal, which is now being followed by this Tristan.

Read the full article on Van.

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