20 February 2013 at 12.03pm | Comment on this article
Lighting designer Paule Constable revealed the world of lighting opera and theatre productions as part of an ROH Insights session.
‘If you imagine when you’re first making a show and a director is [working out] how they want to tell a story, they’re obviously going to think very early on about the set and costume designer that they’re going to work with’, Paule said. ‘How that is seen, how it’s perceived, how it’s brought to life is what the lighting designer does.’
On working on this key aspect of production design, Paule said: ‘There are infinite possibilities with light – it’s very far from arbitrary. We consider every decision we make in a huge amount of detail.’
Paule also spoke about how she got into lighting design: ‘I love the technical side of things, which for many [lighting designers] is our way in. I love climbing ladders and changing gels and playing with light but I also found I really loved what you can do with light in a theatre.’
As well as Royal Opera productions such as Die Zauberflöte, Faust and Le nozze di Figaro, Paule has also designed for a host of other opera companies and theatres. She lit the stage show of War Horse for the National Theatre (and subsequent West End transfer and international tour) and has worked on a new production of Les Misérables.
Paule was recently nominated for an Opera Award in the lighting category.
Discover more about the multimedia nature of opera in the exhibition Opera: Passion, Power and Politics, at the V&A Museum 30 September 2017–25 February 2018.