Art and Design

Stage Design

John Macfarlane, who lives near Abergavenny, is one of the leading stage designers in the world. He designs all the sets needed to tell a story in ballet and opera. The sets are built by teams of people and are very expensive. They have to be ready on time and fit the stage perfectly. The designer has to make sure everything is right.

He makes drawings first. He is given measurements of the height and width and depth of the stage. Then he makes accurate scale models in a box that is exactly the same proportions as the stage. He makes drawings of people at the same scale to make sure the sets will look right. In the photograph he is standing next to his model for Tosca at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.


The video shows his models for a ballet of Frankenstein at the Royal Opera House in London.