Koltai, Ralph (15 of 28) An Oral History of Theatre Design
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2002-08-23, 2002-11-06, 2003-01-09, 2003-02-27, 2003-05-
Interviewee's home, London
Koltai, Ralph 1924- (speaker, male)
O'Ryan, Lydia (speaker, female)
Part 15: Background to downturn in Michael Geliot's [MG] career in Britain including MG's row with Brian Macmaster. Remarks on Scottish Opera [SO] including reference to Peter Hemmings and Alexander Gibson; recollections of introduction to SO via work with Anthony Besch; refers to Dallapiccola's 'Volo di Notte' and two productions of 'The Rake's Progress'. Story about genesis of RK's design for 'The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny' [RFCM] at Sadler's Wells [SW] including some meetings with Lotte Lenya and one with Berthold Brecht's son Stefan Brecht, successfully to secure performing and book rights. Details of functional aspect of design concept for RFCM. Anecdote about 'Gotterdamerung' in the Ring Cycle for English National Opera [ENO]; remarks on conducting skills of Reginald Goodall, relationship between Glen Byam Shaw and John Bletchley; comments on Rita Hunter as Br¿nhilde, mentions Alberto Remedios as Seigfried and Norman Bailey as Wotan. RK comments on artistic significance of Stephen Arlane and production life of the Ring; background to Mark Elder's appointment to ENO. RK describes his design for the Ring, including remarks on use of materials and complexities arising from use of mirror.
Life story interview with Ralph Koltai (1924-), theatre designer.