Production Designer: Luis F. Carvalho
Lighting Designer: Fabiana Piccioli
Photo Credit: Sophie Gilpin
Having worked with Francesca Gilpin reviving ‘Turn of the Screw’ at Los Angeles Opera, I was introduced to her daughter, up and coming opera director Sophie Gilpin who subsequently asked me to design sets and costumes for her up and coming production of ‘Romeo and Juliet’. This was to be Riverside Opera’s first large scale production and it was to be staged at the Rose Theatre in Kingston. Not only was ‘Romeo and Juliet’ Riverside Opera’s first large scale production it was also the Rose Theatre’s first ever opera, two reasons to make it an exciting, new and challenging venture.
Sophie decided very early on in the design process she wanted the audience to relate to the characters instinctively and not alienate them through a classic interpretation so we opted for a visual language that con-temporised the events. Setting the feud between the Capulets and the Montagues in a world where the house of Capulet and the house of Montague found themselves in Knightsbridge and Hoxton. The conservative ‘Chelseaites’ pitching themselves against the more liberal and artistic ‘Hoxtonites’.