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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.

James Farncombe

Lighting designer


British lighting designer James Farncombe made his Royal Opera debut in 2013 on How the Whale Became, and returned for Lessons in Love and Violence. In the 2019/20 Season he designs the lighting for Zauberland and Jenufa.

Farncombe designs lighting for opera, theatre and ballet. He collaborates regularly with Katie Mitchell, including on Anatomy of a Suicide (Royal Court), When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other (National Theatre), The Maids (Toneelgroep Amsterdam), Ariadne auf Naxos, Pelléas et Mélisande, Trauernacht, The House Taken Over and Alcina (Aix-en-Provence Festival), Jenufa (Dutch National Opera), The Cherry Orchard (Young Vic), The Way Back Home (English National Opera), The Rest Will be Familiar to You from Cinema (Hamburg Schauspielhaus) and Le Vin herbé (Berlin State Opera). He has designed lighting for many productions for the National Theatre (including Twelfth Night for Simon Godwin, Macbeth for Rufus Norris and Three Winters for Howard Davies), Donmar Warehouse (including Henry IV for Phyllida Lloyd and Fathers and Sons for Lyndsey Turner), Young Vic (including Yerma for Simon Stone and Measure for Measure for Joe Hill-Gibbins), Royal Shakespeare Company (including As You Like It and The White Devil for Maria Aberg), the Odéon, Paris (La Trilogie de la Vengeance, for Simon Stone), and the Royal Court, Lyric Hammersmith, Hampstead Theatre, Old Vic and in the West End.

Farncombe’s other opera and ballet credits include La traviata (Paris Opéra), Il barbiere di Siviglia (Glyndebourne Festival), Benjamin, dernière nuit (Opéra de Lyon), Ariodante and Der fliegende Holländer (Scottish Opera), Street Scene (Teatro Real, Madrid), The Marriage of Figaro (Opera North), Pelléas et Mélisande (Norwegian National Opera), Liam Scarlett’s Carmen and The Firebird and Kaloyan Boyadjiev’s The Nutcracker (Norwegian National Ballet) and Life for BalletBoyz.