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Due to the ongoing effects of closure at the Royal Opera House, information about artists is only updated periodically during this time. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Charles Edwards



British director and designer Charles Edwards made his Royal Opera debut in 2003 on Elektra, a production he directed and for which he created set and lighting designs. He has returned to create set designs for Faust and Adriana Lecouvreur, directed by David McVicar, and set and lighting designs for Werther, directed by Benoît Jacquot.

Edwards studied at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and went on to specialize in designing and directing for opera. As a designer, he has worked with many of the UK’s leading directors on productions for English National Opera including Norma (also Bordeaux), Katya Kabanova (also Lisbon and Liceu, Barcelona), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (also Moscow), Lucia di Lammermoor (also Gothenburg, Teatro Real, Madrid, Norwegian National Opera, Washington, Toronto), Jenufa (also Houston, Santa Fe) and The Makropoulos Affair (also Prague); and for Opera North including Cavalleria rusticana, The Greek Passion, Trouble in Tahiti, Trial by Jury and Tosca (also Opera Australia). Other design credits include Faust (Teatr Wielki, Poznan) Kiss Me Kate (Théâtre du Châtelet, Graz and Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg), Falstaff (Vienna State Opera), La gazza ladra (Frankfurt), three early Verdi operas (Hamburg), Wozzeck (Dallas, Chicago), Macbeth (Houston, Chicago), Il trovatore (Metropolitan Opera, New York, Chicago, San Francisco), Le nozze di Figaro (Genoa, Barcelona, Bordeaux, Paris, Tel Aviv), I masnadieri (La Scala Milan), Die tote Stadt (Théâtre du Châtelet) and Attila (Strasbourg, Tel Aviv).

Edwards made his directing debut with Così fan tutte for Mid-Wales Opera in 2001 and has since directed and designed productions including Tristan und Isolde (Teatro de São Carlos, Lisbon), Les Contes d’Hoffmann (Wuppertal), Idomeneo (Grange Park Opera), Rigoletto and Pagliacci (Opera North), Turandot (Nationale Reisopera) and Maria di Rohan (Wexford Festival).

News and features

Set piece: The challenges of re-creating a Baroque theatre for The Royal Opera’s Adriana Lecouvreur

1 February 2017
Set piece: The challenges of re-creating a Baroque theatre for The Royal Opera’s <em>Adriana Lecouvreur</em>

Covent Garden’s production of Cilea’s best-known work features a spectacular working model in homage to a golden age of theatre.

Opera Essentials: Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur

12 January 2017
Opera Essentials: Cilea’s <em>Adriana Lecouvreur</em>

Our quick introduction to Cilea’s impassioned theatre tragedy, sumptuously realized in David McVicar’s Royal Opera production.

Opera Essentials: Massenet's Werther

7 June 2016
Opera Essentials: Massenet's <em>Werther</em>

Our quick introduction to Massenet’s Goethe-inspired tragedy of an impossible love.