Belgian set and lighting designer Jan Versweyveld makes his Royal Opera debut in the 2018/19 Season designing sets and lighting for The Diary of One Who Disappeared.
Versweyveld trained at the Sint-Lucas Institute in Brussels and at the Royal Academy in Antwerp. In the 1980s he and Ivo van Hove were two of the founders of the Flemish theatre groups Akt/Vertikaal and Toneelproducties De Tijd. In 1990 he became the regular set designer for the Zuidelijk Toneelgroep. In 2001 he became Head of Scenography for Toneelgroep Amsterdam, where he has designed for many productions including Angels in America, Cries and Whispers, Scenes from a Marriage, Rocco and His Brothers, the Antonioni Project, La Voix humaine, Teorema, L’Avare, Macbeth, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Danton’s Dead, The Fountainhead and Mary Stuart. He has also designed for theatres including the National Theatre (Hedda Gabler), Young Vic and Wyndhams (A View from the Bridge), the Comédie-Française, Schaubühne Berlin, Théâtre de L’Odéon, Paris, Munich Kammerspiele and Schauspielhaus Hamburg.
Versweyveld’s opera designs include Lulu and Der Ring des Nibelungen (Opera Vlaanderen), Salome, The Makropulos Affair and Iolanta (Dutch National Opera), Fidelio (Paris Opéra), La clemenza di Tito and Idomeneo (La Monnaie, Brussels), Mazeppa (Komische Oper Berlin), Macbeth (Opéra de Lyon) and Boris Godunov and Brokeback Mountain (Teatro Real, Madrid). In addition to work with Ivo van Hove and Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, he has collaborated with directors including Johan Simons and Pierre Audi. His many awards include the 2016 Knight of Illumination Award (for Song from Far Away), the 2015 Amsterdam Award for the Arts for proven quality (with van Hove) and an OBIE award for Hedda Gabler.