Opera Theatre Designers win at 2017 Tony Awards
St. Louis, MO, June 12, 2017 – Two Opera Theatre of Saint Louis designers received Tony Awards last night for their work on Broadway. Christopher Akerlind, Opera Theatre’s resident lighting designer, and Jane Greenwood, renowned costume designer, were both recognized for their outstanding work in their respective fields.
Christopher Akerlind, Opera Theatre’s resident lighting designer, was awarded the Tony for Best Lighting Design of a Play for his work on Broadway's Indecent. Akerlind’s work was first seen at Opera Theatre in the 1990 production of The Marriage of Figaro. He has continued to design for OTSL almost every year since, and designed all four productions for the 2017 season. Akerlind was previously awarded the Tony for Best Lighting Design of a Musical for The Light in the Piazza in 2005. He has also been nominated for five other Tony Awards, honoring his work on Rocky (2014), Porgy and Bess (2012), 110 in the Shade (2007), Awake and Sing! (2006), and Seven Guitars (1996).
Jane Greenwood, who has designed costumes for three OTSL productions, was awarded the Tony for best Costume Design for Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes on Broadway, a production starring Cynthia Nixon and Laura Linney. She has received 20 Tony nominations for numerous Broadway productions and a Lifetime Achievement Tony Award for her extraordinary body of work in 2014. Greenwood’s designs have been seen at Opera Theatre in Flight (2003), The Secret Marriage (2004), and Jane Eyre (2006).
Opera Theatre’s 2017 Festival Season runs for two more weeks, through June 25, 2017. The season features Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, the American premiere of Philip Glass and Christopher Hampton’s The Trial, the premiere of a new performing version of Ricky Ian Gordon and Michael Korie’s The Grapes of Wrath, Mozart’s Titus (La clemenza di Tito), and the annual Center Stage showcase concert featuring members of OTSL’s young artist programs. For tickets and more information, visit ExperienceOpera.org or call the box office at (314) 961-0644.
About Opera Theatre of Saint Louis
Opera Theatre of Saint Louis is one of the leading American opera companies, known for a spring festival of inventive new productions, sung in English, featuring the finest American singers and accompanied by members of the St. Louis Symphony. As of its 2016 Festival Season, Opera Theatre has presented 25 world premieres and 26 American premieres — which may be the highest percentage of new work in the repertory of any U.S. company. Described by the Sunday Times of London as “one of the few American companies worth the transatlantic fare,” Opera Theatre of Saint Louis annually welcomes visitors from nearly every state and close to a dozen foreign countries. Although the size of the theater typically limits box office income to less than a quarter of the budget, the company has consistently produced work of the highest quality while never accumulating a deficit.
Opera Theatre also has a long tradition of discovering and promoting the careers of the finest operatic artists of the current generation. Among the artists who had important early opportunities at Opera Theatre are Christine Brewer, Susan Graham, Nathan Gunn, Patricia Racette, Thomas Hampson, Jerry Hadley, Dawn Upshaw, Matthew Polenzani, Sylvia McNair, Erie Mills, Dwayne Croft, Kelly Kaduce, and Lawrence Brownlee. Opera Theatre has always been known for distinguished leadership: founding general director Richard Gaddes was succeeded in 1985 by General Director Charles MacKay, with famed British stage director Colin Graham as Artistic Director and Stephen Lord (1992 – present) as Music Director. Timothy O’Leary was named General Director in October 2008 with acclaimed stage director James Robinson succeeding the late Colin Graham.
Opera Theatre of Saint Louis is funded in part by the Regional Arts Commission, Arts and Education Council, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Missouri Arts Council, with audience building programs supported by The Wallace Foundation.
Generous leadership support for the services of the St. Louis Symphony is provided by Jack C. Taylor and the Taylor family.