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Julia Trevelyan Oman

Designer

Biography

British designer Julia Trevelyan Oman (1930–2003) made her Royal Opera House debut creating designs for Frederick Ashton's Enigma Variations in 1968. Further designs for The Royal Ballet included for Ashton's works A Month in the Country (1976), Soupirs pas de deux (1980) and Voices of Spring (1980) and Peter Wright's production of The Nutcracker (1984). She made her Royal Opera debut in 1971 on Peter Hall's production of Eugene Onegin, and in 1974 created designs for Copley's production of La bohème, which ran for 41 years.

Trevelyan Oman was born in London, and studied at Wimbledon College of Art and the Royal College of Art. She initially worked as a set designer for the BBC before moving into opera and theatre design.

Trevelyan Oman worked extensively in theatre and opera, with other credits including for the National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Chichester Festival, Glyndebourne Festival and Hamburg State Opera. Trevelyan Oman was married to art historian Roy Strong.

News and features

Watch: John Copley on La bohème - ‘It was the first proper opera I’d seen and I cried all the way home on the bus’

Watch: John Copley on La bohème - ‘It was the first proper opera I’d seen and I cried all the way home on the bus’

10 June 2015

The director recalls his first moment with Puccini’s opera and his thoughts on this last revival.

It’s All in the Detail: Julia Trevelyan Oman’s immersive designs for <em>La bohème</em>

It’s All in the Detail: Julia Trevelyan Oman’s immersive designs for La bohème

22 May 2015

The Royal Opera’s 1974 production, on its last outing this summer, took a revolutionary approach to realism onstage, spearheaded by Oman’s meticulously researched designs.

ROH Collections Item of the Month: Donald Southern’s starry photographs of <em>La bohème</em>

ROH Collections Item of the Month: Donald Southern’s starry photographs of La bohème

15 May 2015

Over 41 years, all the greats – including Plácido Domingo, Kiri Te Kanawa and Luciano Pavarotti – have performed in John Copley’s classic production.

Photos

Fabric swatches for reference of the ROH Costume Department by Julia Trevelyan Oman for her designs for La bohème (The Royal Opera, 1974). Left: JTO/025/051 53. Right: JTO/025/051 54

Photo portraits used by Julia Trevelyan Oman as research for her designs for La bohème (The Royal Opera, 1974). Left JTO/025/037 47, right JTO/025/043 20

Portrait of writer Henri Murger, used by Julia Trevelyan Oman as research for her designs for La bohème (The Royal Opera, 1974). JTO/025/012

Artwork by Julia Trevelyan Oman of Paris skyline for her designs for La bohème (The Royal Opera, 1974). JTO/025/004

Pen and ink wash sketch of general stage setting, Acts I and IV by Julia Trevelyan Oman, designer for La bohème (The Royal Opera, 1974) JTO/025/062/1

Left: Costume design for Musetta by Julia Trevelyan Oman for her designs for La bohème (The Royal Opera, 1974) JTO/025/050 16

Pencil sketches of props by Julia Trevelyan Oman for her designs for La bohème (The Royal Opera, 1974). Left: painter's palette JTO/025/003. Right: stove JTO/025/003

Left: Technical drawing with photographic research by Julia Trevelyan Oman for her designs for La bohème (The Royal Opera, 1974). JTO/025/061 18. Right: Research photos of Paris used by Oman, from top JTO/025/044 51, 45

Left: Costume design for fat man with dog by Julia Trevelyan Oman for her designs for La bohème (The Royal Opera, 1974) JTO/025/049 20

Individual photographic visiting cards used by Julia Trevelyan Oman as research for her designs for La bohème (The Royal Opera, 1974) JTO/025/037 2, 9, 16, 29, 32

Right: Anita Hartig as Mimì in La bohème, The Royal Opera

Photographic research used by Julia Trevelyan Oman in her designs for La bohème (The Royal Opera, 1974). Left: JTO 025/044/015 16. Right: JTO 025/061/006

Original ink and watercolour cartoon of Mr de B and Mr V, unsigned, used by Julia Trevelyan Oman as research material for her designs for La bohème (The Royal Opera, 1974). JTO/025/040

Julia Trevelyan Oman