2018–19 Season: Set Designer, Rusalka
John Macfarlane made his San Francisco Opera debut as set designer of Hansel und Gretel in 2002 and returned for The Queen of Spades and Don Giovanni. He studied at the Glasgow School of Art and pursues parallel careers in theater, painting and printmaking.
Macfarlane’s opera designs include Peter Grimes, Die Zauberﬂöte, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Bluebeard’s Castle/Erwartung and L’Heure Espagnole/Gianni Schicchi (Royal Opera, Covent Garden); Hansel and Gretel (Welsh National Opera, Metropolitan Opera); The Queen of Spades (Welsh National Opera); War and Peace (Paris Opéra); La Clemenza di Tito (Paris Opéra); Agrippina (La Monnaie, Brussels); The Trojans (English National Opera); Don Giovanni (La Monnaie); Idomeneo (Vienna); Elektra and Rusalka (Chicago); The Rake’s Progress (Scottish Opera); and Maria Stuarda (Metropolitan Opera). His most recent opera designs are for Tosca and Agrippina, both for the Metropolitan Opera.
Dance designs include Tetley’s La Ronde and Scarlett’s Frankenstein, Asphodel Meadows, Sweet Violets and The Age of Anxiety (Royal Ballet); Hummingbird (San Francisco Ballet); and The Nutcracker, Le Baiser de la fée and Cinderella (Birmingham Royal Ballet). His most recent ballet designs were the sets and costumes for Swan Lake (Royal Ballet).
In 2015, Macfarlane received a laureate from Benois de la Danse. He is a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and a judge of the Linbury Prize.