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David Walker

Designer

Biography

David Walker (1934–2008) was a prominent English theatre designer perhaps most celebrated for his work in ballet. For The Royal Ballet he created designs for Frederick Ashton's The Dream (1964, costumes; 1986, costumes and sets) and Cinderella (1965, costumes; 1987, costumes and sets), The Sleeping Beauty (1977) and Konservatoriet (1982). He also worked extensively in opera, and for Covent Garden Opera Company (later The Royal Opera) created costume designs for Suor Angelica (1965), Così fan tutte (1968) and Semele (1982), directed by John Copley, and Don Giovanni (1981), directed by Peter Wood.

Walker was born in Kolkata to British parents and grew up in London. He studied at the Central School of Arts and Crafts under Jeanetta Cochrane. He first worked as a cutter for Glyndebourne before beginning his design career with Joan Littlewood at the Liverpool Theatre Workshop and the Theatre Royal. After his Royal Court debut in 1961 on The Changeling he went on to work for many of the world's major theatre, dance and opera companies. Significant designs included, in ballet, Giselle (1971) and La Sylphide (1979) for London Festival Ballet and Cinderella (1996) for English National Ballet; in opera, Der Rosenkavalier (1975) for English National Opera and Carmen (1972) for the Metropolitan Opera, New York; and in theatre London Assurance (1971) for the Royal Shakespeare Company and Undiscovered Country (1979) for the National Theatre.

Walker also worked in film and television, where his credits included The Corn is Green (1979) and Hamlet (1971, Emmy Award).