German costume designer Irina Bartels makes her Royal Opera debut in the 2014/15 Season, creating costume designs for Un ballo in maschera, directed by Katharina Thoma.
Bartels was born in Wuppertal and studied fashion in Hamburg. She began her career as an assistant at such Hamburg theatres as the Thalia Theater and the Hamburger Kammerspiele. She then joined the Schauspiel Frankfurt as an assistant and since 2004 has worked as a designer for theatre and opera. Theatre work includes Don Carlos for Grillo-Theater, Essen, Offene Türen for Nationaltheater Mannheim, Fräulein Julie, In weiter Ferne and Deutschland, ein Wintermärchen for Schauspiel Frankfurt and Eumeniden for Mainfranken Theater Würzburg.
Bartel's opera credits include L’Heure espagnole and La vida breve for Frankfurt Opera, directed by David Hermann, and Eliogabalo, La bohème, Boris Godunov, Il trovatore and Carmen for Theater Dortmund and Hänsel und Gretel for Göteborg Opera, all directed by Thoma. She has also collaborated with Thoma on Saul for Kassel State Theatre and La finta giardiniera for Frankfurt Opera, and in 2013 made her UK debut designing costumes for Ariadne auf Naxos, directed by Thoma for Glyndebourne Festival.