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David Finn

Lighting designer


Lighting designer David Finn has worked extensively at the Royal Opera House, his credits including, for The Royal Ballet, Giselle, Other Dances (both with Jennifer Tipton) and Sweet Violets and, for The Royal Opera, Duke Bluebeard’s Castle/Erwartung and Peter Grimes, directed by Willy Decker, and Der fliegende Holländer and Tannhäuser, directed by Tim Albery. He regularly collaborates with designer John Macfarlane. In the 2015/16 Season he returns to work on Liam Scarlett’s new full-length narrative ballet Frankenstein for The Royal Ballet.

Finn began his professional career as a lighting designer aged 16 working for puppeteer Burr Tillstrom on Kukla, Fran and Ollie. His early work in dance included designs for Merce Cunningham, James Kudelka, Dana Reitz, Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp and Helgi Tomasson. He was the resident lighting designer for Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project 1993–2000. Other ballet work includes The Nutcracker and Cinderella (Birmingham Royal Ballet), Roméo et Juliette (Paris Opera Ballet) and Swan Lake (Bavarian State Ballet). Since 1997 Finn has worked increasingly in opera, productions including The Rake’s Progress (Scottish Opera), Parsifal (Metropolitan Opera, New York), Rusalka (Chicago), The Marriage of Figaro (Sydney), Tannhäuser (Berlin), Ariane et Barbe-Bleu (Paris), Ariadne auf Naxos (Salzburg), Otello (Brussels), Falstaff (Florence), Boris Godunov, Lucio Silla, Così fan tutte, Don Giovanni and Le nozze di Figaro (Amsterdam), Das Rheingold, Les Contes d’Hoffmann and Orfeo (Stuttgart), Emilie and Seven Deadly Sins/Der Ozeanflug (Lyons), Così fan tutte and Idomoneo (Opera North), Alcina, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and Faust (San Francisco) and the Ring cycle (Toronto).

In film Finn’s work includes Martin Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence, and on stage, Michael Jackson ONE for Cirque du Soleil (Las Vegas).