Best Implemented Theatre Set Design

About the project
In the unique thrust theatre of DMMO we set out to create a production to resonate for 2019 and to decode the challenges of the sprawling journey through the world of the opera. Our solution was to design a progression from the isolated austere classical confines of the pristine Westphalia to the complicated layers of experiences and journeys at the end that lands Candide in a world of realization and true raw grounding. This is facilitated through the idea of fully unified color worlds of each adventure he is faced with and each country he visits. The beauty of this being that as each location is visited it stays a part of a greater kaleidoscope of experience and memory visually creating a rainbow of interlocking color punctuated in the end by the characters magically growing grass and tulips from all crevices of the set to establish the growing garden.

Des Moines Metro Opera — Blank Performing Arts Center — Indianola, Iowa, the USA

Project implementation year

Project website

More project images

Project 3D-tour

Project video

Additional information

Applicant and author of the project
Steven C. Kemp. His designs for opera have been presented by 30 companies including LA Opera, Arizona Opera and The Lyric Opera of Kansas City. His 20 productions for Opera San Jose include the newly filmed Three Decembers starring Susan Graham. He has designed over 50 musicals and plays in NYC including the Off-Broadway revival of Tick, Tick…Boom! as well as numerous productions at regional theatres, cruise lines and international tours such as Baby Shark Live. MFA UC San Diego.

Other participants
Directed by Michael Shell
Costumes by Linda Pisano
Lighting by Nate Wheatley
Hair + Make-Up by Brittany Crinson
Des Moines Metro Opera Director of Production: Danielle Taylor
Des Moines Metro Opera TD: Natalie Hining
Set Constructed by Opera San Jose
Opera San Jose Scene Shop TD: John Draginoff
Photos by Duane Tinkey