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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.

Hildegard Bechtler



German designer Hildegard Bechtler made her Royal Opera debut in 1997 as set designer for Paul Bunyan. She has since designed sets and costumes for The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet’s co-production of Dido and Aeneas/Acis and Galatea and The Royal Opera’s The Exterminating Angel.

Bechtler was born in Stuttgart and studied painting at Camberwell College of Arts and stage design at Central Saint Martins. She began her career in film before moving into opera and theatre design. Opera set designs include La Cenerentola and La traviata (Glyndebourne Festival), La Damnation de Faust, Lohengrin and Boris Godunov (English National Opera), Don Carlos, Madama Butterfly and The Makropulos Case (Opera North), Dialogues des Carmélites (Washington National Opera), La finta giardiniera (Santa Fe Opera) and Aida (Canadian Opera Company). Her set and costume designs for opera include Kát’a Kabanová (Boston Lyric Opera). She has also designed for Bavarian State Opera and La Scala, Milan, among others.

Bechtler regularly designs for the National Theatre, credits including Waste, A Taste of Honey, After the Dance (Olivier Award for Best Costume Design) and The Merchant of Venice. Further credits include for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Hampstead Theatre, Old Vic, Donmar Warehouse, the Royal Court and Almeida (where her designs include sets for Uncle Vanya and sets and costumes for Oresteia, nominated for the Olivier Award for Best Set Design). Her West End designs include the Olivier Award-winning Top Hat.

News and features

The challenges of bringing The Exterminating Angel to the stage

26 April 2017
The challenges of bringing <em>The Exterminating Angel</em> to the stage

A flock of sheep, a bear, a disembodied hand, set in an inescapable single room: how do you stage Thomas Adès’s sensational new opera?

Opera Essentials: Thomas Adès’s The Exterminating Angel

18 April 2017
Opera Essentials: Thomas Adès’s <em>The Exterminating Angel</em>

Our quick introduction to the UK premiere of the latest work from one of today’s leading composers.