Ralph Koltai - Designer for the Stage

Ralph Koltai: Designer for the Stage

Publisher: Nick Hern Books

Date: 2003

ISBN: 185459 7841

From his first designs for the English Opera Group, Sadler’s Wells, Covent Garden and the Ballet Rambert in the 1950’s, through regular commissions for the RSC and the National Theatre in the 60’s and 70’s, and on to the West End in the 80’s and the world’s stages in the 90’s, Ralph Koltai is possibly the most wide-ranging and consistently prolific British stage designer. Still at work – he designed operas in Venice and Tel Aviv in 2003 – he wants to encourage younger designers who suffer from the dearth of publications in their field. Hence this book: a full-colour presentation of models and production shots of over 30 of the 200 shows which make up Koltai’s total work. Among them are the “Brecht/Weill Mahagonny for Sadler’s Wells (1963)”, “As You Like It at the National (1967)”, the opening production at the “Sydney Opera House (Tannhauser, 1973)”, “The Ring Cycle for English National Opera (1974)”, “Brand at the National with Michael Bryant (1978)”, “Cyrano at the RSC with Derek Jacobi (1983)” and “Othello at the RSC with Ben Kingsley (1984)”, “Metropolis in the West End (1989)” and “Carmen in the Albert Hall (1997)”. Interlaced with the sumptuous design spreads are essays and interviews with Koltai himself and with his collaborators and fellow designers.

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