Hudson, Richard (5 of 7)  An Oral History of Theatre Design

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  • Recording date

    2006-12-15, 2007-07-25, 2008-04-04

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's studio, London

  • Interviewees

    Hudson, Richard 1954- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Wright, Elizabeth (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 5: First work at Glyndebourne; ‘Pique Dame’ by Tchaikovsky, the last production in the old theatre; invitation to design ‘Eugene Onegin’ with GV in the new theatre. Further designs at Glyndebourne: ‘Hermione’ by Rossini, Mozart Da ponte operas; ‘Manon L’Escaut’ [ML] by Puccini. Costume department at Glyndebourne run by Tony Ledell; his knowledge; his contribution in costume fittings; wig department run by Barbie Burrows; Apollo Knot wigs for ML. Standards at Glyndebourne; technical director, Peter Horne; quality of productions at Glyndebourne; chorus; pleasure of working there. Designing for the new space while it was in the process of being built; advantages of the new space in comparison with the old one. Process of staging ‘Eugene Onegin’; mention that it is being re-staged; simple set for this; device for telling the story with travelling curtains; staging of second act using rooms on two levels. Practicalities of the curtains; staging the opera without long pauses between the scenes. Finding solutions to problems; list at the beginning of LK; use of historical theatre techniques; comments about the audience being in on the tricks in LK, such as the shimmering sun; experimenting with this; use of light boxes in the wings. Carrying out experiments in the studio, Broadway theatres and a university campus; learning about traditional theatre techniques at WSA; visit to Drottningholm Palace Theatre. Design for the second act of MC, which takes place backstage at a theatre; research into 1920s scenery and lighting equipment. [0:22:07] First working with GV with YS on ‘Euridice’ at the Riverside Studios, then on ‘La Vie Parisienne’ at Scottish Opera. Description of GV as a director; his passion for opera and musical knowledge; spending lots of time developing ideas with him. Using the same set for several productions; description of the set; staging ‘Così fan tutte’ like a rehearsal in this space; development of costumes and change of colour from black to white in ‘The Marriage of Figaro’; using the same room as though it had been abandoned for ‘Don Giovanni’; vulgar eighteenth century costumes for this; ending in which Don Giovanni into hell. Reasons for using the same basic set and description of different themes of love across all three operas.

  • Description

    Life story interview with Richard Hudson (1954-), theatre designer.

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