Conversation Piece:

Lighting Designer  DUANE  SCHULER

By Bruce Duffie


Duane Schuler is the resident lighting designer for Lyric Opera, and in 22 years has lit most of their productions.  He and his company also were responsible for the new lighting machinery which was part of the $100 million renovation of the Civic Opera House.

Though he's ‘fest' in Chicago, his work has also illuminated operas at the Met, Santa Fe, Houston and Berlin.  Besides operas, he has lit ballet, theater, television and films.

This fall, it has been my great pleasure to do a special series on WNIB called Backstage At Lyric Opera.  Those unseen (and unsung) heroes and heroines who keep the place running night after night have been given a chance to chat and share with the radio audience some of the ins and outs that make Lyric Opera one of the great companies of the world.  This interview is part of that series . . . . .

Bruce Duffie: Is it the management of the opera company that invites  you, or the director of the production?

Duane Schuler:  It's the production. I work because the director asks for me or the set designer  might convince the director that I would be a good choice.  Often it's people you've worked with before who simply call up and check your availability and say, "could you come and do this production?"

BD: How much of the lighting is your idea and how much is the stage director's and the stage designer's idea?

DS: It's a real collaboration. There's no question about it. What I do is a collaborative art. It's not a studio art where you do exactly what you want. You're working with some very strong personalities doing what you hope at the end is a product that everybody's pleased with. This is why you end up working with some of the same people quite often because you do see eye to eye on certain projects. The first time you work with somebody it's always interesting because you try to find a common vocabulary as far as what you feel looks good and just a style of working that makes both parties happy. My first years here at the Lyric were interesting because most of the designers and directors were European and many of them didn't speak English. We'd go through weeks of technical rehearsal trying to light a show and everything was done through a translator. That made it difficult because you're not simply talking "on or off," you're talking nuances and subtleties of light. It is hard enough to talk about that one-on-one to someone who  speaks the same language.

BD: And the common language was not theater?

DS: It is, but you still need to talk. You do get to the point when you can tell, no matter what the language, that both sides are very happy.  No matter what language you have, you come to a common agreement and you can feel when it's right. Everybody relaxes and  we'll go on from there. The process of designing lighting goes back 2 years before you actually get something on stage. You meet the set designer, you meet the director, you meet the costume designer, and you talk about what you want the production to look like and what the concept is of this particular production.

BD: Do you ever have any input into the way the set looks or are you just waiting to see what it is and then light it the way they want it?

DS: On a rental production sometimes you simply get a set from somewhere. It shows up at the theater and you work with what you have. If it's a new production that the Lyric is mounting for the first time, you definitely get involved from the very beginning. If nothing else, just to sort of protect your interests as far as being able to light the show as opposed to having 4 solid walls and a ceiling and not any place to put the instruments. You try to have some input saying, "You know, if we move this upstage 2 feet we'll have a much better chance at making this look good." Or, "If this wall is this light, we'll have a problem seeing people in front of it."  At the same time, the designers we work with here are so accomplished that usually they've thought of those things as well. I definitely like getting involved from the very beginning.

BD: You suggest moving something upstage 2 feet.  Might it be better moving the light downstage 2 feet?

DS: Sometimes you can't move the light any further downstage. There are certain positions in the theater that are fixed. The lighting bridge is directly upstage of the main house curtain, and if the set is downstage of that bridge, it becomes very difficult to get light into the set.

BD: Do you like it when sets spill over the orchestra pit?

DS: I do like that. I think it's good to bring the whole show as far forward as you can - provided you still have enough room to get some lighting into it because front light is  pretty uninteresting and unflattering. It makes things look plastic.  You want light from the side and from the back.  There's more definition of the space and of the body.

BD: You get involved in lighting. Do you also get involved in the colors of the light – the gels in front of lenses?

DS: Yeah, absolutely. Where the light comes from, the angle of the light, the color of the light, the intensity of light. It's all within my realm. I'm also the person who can change colors. It's interesting. Once the scenery is painted, you can't very easily change the color of it. But you can change the gel very quickly. Often a backdrop will come in and people say it's a little too orange or a little too pink. Can you do anything about that? Can you help dull some of that down and bring out some of this color?  Lighting is the last thing that happens artistically. You design the costumes, you design the scenery, it's been staged, and the very last element really, is the lighting. It gets added on at the very end of the process.

BD: So you can be a big hero or even save somebody's butt?

DS: You can help out, absolutely. And when you do, you work a lot the next time. It's all part of that collaboration again to make everybody look good so the team looks successful. Then you go on and do more work.

BD: You light the set. Do you do anything about lighting the costumes and the singers?

DS: Oh absolutely.  In fact, in the summer now, what we're doing is called the summer tech and the lighting. We actually put up every set and spend a week lighting the scenery. But also, because obviously all the singers aren't here, we do hire a couple of people that we call "light walkers" and they simply walk around the stage and the director will tell them where he thinks at that point that the singers will be standing when they're singing a certain aria, or what entrance they're going to be coming through, which doorway, etc. So you rough-in the lighting for the singers and the costumes. But once we've done this summer tech, then in the fall when you get into the rehearsals and the actual staging rehearsals, you have another 3 rehearsals where you have lights with the singers. It's then we can fine tune the lighting on them.

BD: Do you continue to fine tune each opera for the 3rd or 6th or 8th performance?

DS: Usually what we do is work through the final dress rehearsal. During the final dress rehearsal we're set up on a production table in the middle of the theater. Once a show opens, we try to leave it alone. You're supposed to get your work done before that point. Once the show opens, I'm not actually in the theater because we're on to the next production. The crew takes the show from there and they run it every night.

BD: Do you ever happen to be in the house later on and give a note or something?

DS: Sure. (Laughter) Absolutely. I like to go back and visit a show after the 3rd or 4th performance just to see what your impression is after you've had a breather from that whole process. The 2 weeks before a show opens is very, very concentrated time and there's a lot of energy. There's a lot going on and it's a very heightened time. It's good to take a step back and look at it from a distance and see what works well and what doesn't work as well, and re-judge it for the next time. You can certainly make the minor corrections. If it's major, you wait for the next time.

BD: Do you ever get a singer coming to you asking to get the light out of their eyes?

DS: No. I'm surprised we don't. Very seldom does that happen. When I go on stage to focus a light or something, I wonder how they ever do this. To exit into a wing with a light blasting into your eyes is very difficult, especially if you're supposed to be going down a step at that point and singing a high C. It's amazing how they're used to it. The singers are real troupers. They've been through it all and they'll usually do what needs to be done.

BD: When I came into your office a few moments ago, you were listening to one of the operas that is going to be staged and produced here this coming season. You look at the sets and you look at the costumes - do you also get inspired by the music that you're hearing?

DS: Absolutely. The lighting actually is an outgrowth of the music you hear. Certainly the cuing, which is the establishing of different looks for different moments within the opera, is all based on the music. In some music, you can hear a light cue a mile away. You can hear it's time to do a build or it's time to fade to cool because there's a key change. I always listen to the music. I listen to it over and over and just sort of think about what it should look like, what it should feel like. Then the cues are all timed as well. When you write light cues, it's not just a sudden shift of light from one cue to another. You can do very sudden shifts like in Nabucco when the crown falls off the head. That's a 1-count cue. You can also have a 3-minute cue to do just a slight fade to show the time of day or the lights outside the windows are just going down slowly or whatever. But all of that is definitely based on the music and all those cues are actually put into a score. The stage manager then will call cues at exactly the same time every night based on the score.

BD: So the stage manager is not only pushing people on the stage, she's telling the man running the light board to push this button?

DS: Exactly. "Cue 27. Go."

BD: How much warning do they get?

DS: There's about a 30 second warning. If you have too much warning, then you lose the pace. There's a warning, there's a standby and a go for every light cue so the stage manager calls that as well as calling all the carpentry cues, all the rail cues, as well as places for the singers.

BD: I would think in a complicated opera there's just too much going on.

DS: During a complicated opera, a stage manager is talking non-stop. It's fascinating. We make archival tapes of each production. One channel is the music and the other channel is the stage manager which is very, very useful for knowing how a piece was put together. It is interesting to listen to those sometimes because you realize how much is going on backstage as the opera seems to be quietly going on onstage.

BD: Now, if we were to hear one of those tapes, say, from 1920, would it be really be very quiet in that one channel?

DS: It would probably be very quiet because in those days, the curtain went up and they sang the scene and the curtain went back down again. The only cuing was usually the lights in front of the curtain would fade as the curtain came in. There just wasn't much going on because the technology didn't exist to be able to do much. What I've done in the last 20 years has changed drastically. When I first got here, there was much less equipment. There was much less expectation as far as what lighting could do because directors and designers didn't have any expectation of being able to really totally change the stage quickly and as often as you want to. You were limited by the number of handles a man could push. You couldn't do huge moves very quickly. There were just not enough hands to do it. Now it's all been computerized so you can make your changes as big as you possibly want. In fact, you have to make sure you don't go overboard at times. I think you need to always reinforce the music and what's happening dramatically, but you don't want to call attention to yourself too much because it's not a light show, it's an opera.

BD: I was going to ask - do you want the public to know about this or not?

DS: 95% of the time, I think they shouldn't know about it. They should simply really enjoy the opera – get involved with the opera emotionally and just have an overall impression of having a wonderful experience and not go out whistling the lights. (Laughter) They should just really enjoy the evening as an opera. What I love about opera is that it's such a huge collection of people putting this whole thing together. Everybody has to do their part well and when it all works well, it's as good as any art form there is. It can be absolutely mesmerizing to watch a well-put-together piece.

BD: Do you ever go to performances that you haven't lit?

DS: I do. I often go because I'm asked by the Lyric. We might consider renting a production from somewhere else, so I'll go and look at the production just to see how it's been done. Then, if we do mount it, I've seen it. However, being in an opera house probably 300 days of the year I try to get outside sometimes . . . .

BD: Now, on these battens that hang from the grid, you have all these lighting instruments. Do you change each one or do you just utilize combinations of what's there?

DS: Because of the repertory situation here where you have 8 operas that run through the season, often one is overlapping with another. So, for the actual hanging position of the light fixtures, we try to do a basic plot that will cover more than one show. There just isn't time to move many lights every night. At the same time, we will refocus and recolor those lights every night. There is a crew of 12 electricians and I have 2 assistants who come in every day for about 2 hours. From about 4:00 in the afternoon till 6:00 they refocus and recolor as many lights as we're going to use that evening. There can be as many as 500 lights that can be adjusted for the performance each evening and in the last couple of years, we've also added some automated fixtures that are self-focusing that you can adjust remotely from the switchboard. It's all a byproduct of the rock-and-roll industry. When we do large sweeps of color across the stage, we refocus a "special" from the platform on stage left. It's something you can do without getting a ladder out onto the stage and you can focus it remotely and so that's helped.

BD: Do you design the lights for all 8 productions?

DS: This year I'm doing 7 of the 8.

BD: Is it good to have one person who knows from production to production what's being used so that if you've got a special assigned to one opera it's not moved around for another opera?

DS: It can make it a little more efficient. There's no question about it. In the past, the repertory theater usually had a repertory designer attached to it. Things were a bit simpler. Now, the resident lighting designers are becoming a bit of a dying breed because there's more expectation for the lighting designer to be part of a production team from the very beginning. Once you design a show from the beginning with the team, they often want you to go with them to another theater. So we'll have more guest designers here, and at the same point I'm doing more guest work at other theaters. It does actually cause more work for the theater. There's more equipment that has to get moved, the crew might be bigger, the time of each change might be longer. But the product is better. It's a tradeoff, I think, that's worth making.

BD: You mentioned the rock shows. Are we actually learning something from rock-and-roll???

DS: Well, no. We're using their technology. They have the money to do the research to develop new equipment that the opera world doesn't do. So it's trickle down from where the technology is. The first famous production that used the rock-and-roll equipment was a Tristan done in Los Angeles about 10 years ago.  David Hockney designed it and used something called Veri-lights. It was the first attempt to actually use that equipment in an opera house. The big problem was that they all have fans and they all have motors and they all make noise and so they all had to be put inside foam boxes in order to keep some of the noise down. But the singers had a terrible time because it was just too much noise overhead. That's all changed a lot and so now you can actually use some of that equipment. It has been quieted down to a more suitable level for an opera house. Opera and theater is so much more delicate than rock-and-roll ever needs to be, and some of the equipment at first was just too crude. Now it's becoming commonplace.

BD: Is this because of the expectation of the audience having seen films with cinematic effects?

DS: Right. That's an interesting question for the entire performance business. It goes to a much bigger question because what is the expectation when you come into a theater or an opera house versus what you can see on a screen. We can't compete, really. Technically we can't compete so what you need to do is cherish the fact you're doing a live performance and that there are real people up there, not an actor who did the take 3 years ago and now you're seeing it for the first time. It's something that's happening in the same room at the same time that you are sitting there. There's a tightrope act going on – especially in opera. Will they hit the note? Will they be as good tonight as 3 years ago when you heard them before? That's the real excitement of live theater. Rather than going for special effects, I think it's more in the conceptual world - how you're actually mounting the production and the concept behind the production. Sometimes you want to make spectacular effects, but to look at it as a foot race between the two is asking for trouble because you're just trying to upstage something that you're never going to upstage.

BD: Have you ever had any thoughts of directing yourself?

DS: No. I really haven't. I really love what I do. I've been doing it for a long time and I enjoy the niche that I'm filling. I like being part of production teams. The directors are fascinating because they're the ones that do come up with the bigger concepts. It's an amazing collection of people I end up working with between the directors and the set designers and the costume designers and the entire cast of performers. I've been here a long time and have seen a lot of changes. Lyric Opera of Chicago is an amazingly solid company that does incredibly good work, and it's been a great home base. It gives me a jumping off point that I can go and work in other places, and it gives me a perspective on how good this company is as well. It's a well-run company. They hire wonderful performers and singers and directors and designers and you're working with the best in the business. It's a fabulous place to spend your time.

BD: From your point of view, how is opera these days?

DS: It's amazing. Opera seems to be growing by leaps and bounds. Here in Chicago, the fact that we're sold out all the time is fabulous and pretty rare. Sometimes, even if you work here, you can't get a seat some nights because they're simply all gone.  Santa Fe is packed. I know they're having a very good season out there. I think there are a lot more young people coming to see it and enjoying it. David Gockley's Carmen down in Houston this spring was a huge success. It was sort of a rock-and-roll production and it got good reviews and lots of people came to see it. We're doing a lot more outreach education programs here to try to keep people informed. I think the biggest factor in the last 10 years has been subtitles. They have brought people into the theater in droves because they didn't feel like they are shut out from what was happening.

BD: Now does that affect you at all because the people have to look onstage at a bright light and then above the stage at perhaps a little dimmer light?

DS: We always try to keep a balance on that and it's hard sometimes. If you have a very bright set and very light-colored walls, the set can bounce so much light back into the auditorium that the screen becomes a little washed out. We are constantly trying to find ways to get the projection of the titles brighter to make it all balance better.  Or, in a quiet, dark scene, we dim the titles down a bit - like in the last act of Traviata.  That, too, is computerized and you can simply project them at 85% intensity as opposed to full intensity. We do keep an eye on it and don't change it often. If we know an act is going to be darker, we make sure it doesn't become too glaring.

BD: How much does the conductor enter into all of this?

DS: The director and the conductor are the first ones that have to agree on what's going to happen. Then the director will go to the production team, the design team and they'll carry through those ideas. There are times the conductor will join you at the end of  the rehearsal and ask about the end of the opera. He might ask if  we think it should be a blackout or if we should linger with a "special" on the soprano.  We'll discuss when the curtain going to hit the deck and where you want the curtain to hit the deck. It's those sorts of things, when the actual light cues happen and details of the curtain, that tie into what the conductor's doing.

BD: I would think that if some of your cues are measured over time - say a minute - and the conductor is more slow one night, you might have to make it a minute-ten or minute-twenty.

DS: That's why we have more individual cues. Some people think that you punch the "Go" button at the top of the act and it runs until the curtain comes down again which isn't what we do because of that very thing. Over the course of a minute, there's not often much change in tempo. But conductors can vary 2 or 3 minutes over the course of an act quite often. That's why you don't have a 60 minute cue in an opera. You have a lot of small cues that are called according to the score so that they always start at exactly the same time each night relative to the score and not relative to 7:30 pm.

BD: Tell me how you got started in this business.

DS: I've been doing this for a long time. I started out at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis and then I moved into the opera world when I started working here and in Houston and L.A. and Boston. About 10 years ago, I formed a company that does theater consulting and architectural lighting design as well, so I do a lot of work with lighting buildings in Chicago and designing and renovating theaters. I enjoy doing that, but I found that of the two, I really do love lighting opera. It's something I really enjoy doing so I spend most of my time lighting opera and the rest of the office takes care of all the other architectural work.

BD: Let me ask you a mundane question. What's the brightest thing you've ever lit? Is there a  scene where every instrument is on at full intensity?

DS: Actually, the 3rd act of Meistersinger that we just finished working on today is a bright scene.  It's supposed to be a German town on a bright sunny day. Meistersinger uses a lot of light.

BD: Let me ask the other side, then. What is the dimmest thing you've lit, and then did you have to be sure that everyone was actually visible?

DS: This is a big house and the European directors are used to much smaller houses, so I often have to work hard to convince the directors and designers that it needs to be a bit brighter because it's a big hall. That's a hard battle sometimes, and when you want to establish some certain mood, if you get it too bright, you've lost it. There is a very careful balance. What I do is a study in contrast and balance and I try to make sure that you're seeing what you want to see and need to see without losing the magic of the world which has been created. The scene painting often looks better with a little less light on it and wrinkles and drops are almost negligible. You want to make sure that you don't see any more than you really have to because it ruins the illusion. If you can create this world that people are singing in that is absolutely believable as a space, that it's no longer just inside the Lyric Opera House, but it's the world that they're in, then you've done your job well. Sometimes it's darker than you might like it to be, but if you get enough cross-light and enough side-light, the features of the face come out without being flattened.  People think we'll just add more front light. That really doesn't help you see any better. You want more contrast. You want to make sure you can sharply etch the side of the face, the side of the body and define the whole person out from the background by adding enough light from the side. There are all these tricks that you can do to keep the mood and still provide the visibility you need.

BD: Did a director ever ask you anything outrageous?

DS: There are times that I don't agree with what they're asking for. I find it's easier to actually try and give them exactly what they're asking for and then convince them that what they're seeing isn't what they want to see. If you sit there and argue conceptually about whether or not the cyclorama should be green at this point or blue, all you are doing is arguing in thin air. It's easier to simply change the gels and ask if they really like it.

BD: Who's the one to decide if you use follow spots or not?

DS: Usually the director has a very strong opinion about it. But in a house this size, I'm a fan of follow spots. I'll often go along in the beginning and say we don't need them, but then if we get into the final rehearsals and I feel we're not getting enough on faces and there's no other way to really build the mood without too much light, we'll often convince the director that a little bit of follow spot work wouldn't hurt.

BD: Is there any way that you could have something on their costume that a laser beam would catch automatically so that it would move more smoothly with the singers rather than having an operator?

DS: There is equipment that does that right now, and they use it in rock ‘n roll. But none of these devices has become sophisticated enough that it's actually better than a good operator. And there's a difference. A very, very good operator can make it look absolutely seamless. But it's very hard. It's actually a very difficult job. You're a long ways away when you're on a follow spot and moving it a quarter of an inch is moving it 5 feet on the stage. It's a real artform to be able to move a follow spot smoothly and well and not annoy people in the upper balcony. That's one of the reasons that I try hard to convince the director to make the floor a little bit brighter so that the pool of light you're looking at isn't on a black floor but part of a bigger picture. It looks okay from the main floor seats, but it looks terrible from the balcony. I've seen the bouncing balls of light on the floor and you think, no, this is not a good idea. So if you keep some backlight up, it lights the floor, it keeps the mood, and you don't see that pool of light quite as badly.

BD: One more mundane question. I know of many instances of real obvious things in the music for lighting. For example, dawn in Gotterdammerung. I assume that you time the cue and the computer takes it up and up and up?

DS: Actually, it's usually a series of 4 or 5 or 6 cues because you build. Rather than doing one long cue, it's better to have layers of cuing. You can look at each individual step as you're going so that you can adjust. You might build the cools first and then add some lavender and then add some ambers and then add some white.

BD  Like a sunrise?

DS: Like a sunrise. Exactly. So there you would actually do a separate cue for each one of those that would be linked together. They're called "auto follows" and it might take 10 minutes. Each cue might take a minute, and you'd have 10 cues that would make it happen. It's a series of cues. The vigilant Madame Butterfly is a classic dawn sequence as well.

BD: What about times that are not as obvious as sunrise or sunset?

DS: Sometimes there's just a key change, as in the second act of Tosca. When she's at the desk thinking about what she's going to do when she grabs the knife, there's a moment  when you just have to put a chill into the light. Before that, it's been fairly warm. We do a 30 second cue from being more warm light to more cool light and it chills off the entire room because the music changes there. There is a definite music change when she's had the idea, so you just start cooling it off until she stabs Scarpia. When you're listening to the music, you hear things like that. You see them - at least I do. That's what I do. I sit there and I listen to it and see what I think it should look like. And ideally, no one's aware of it. It's just not something I want you to be aware of. It's something that makes the evening, like I said earlier, more complete. And then there are things like the beginning of Otello. The opening storm scene is a little show off time. In the first 5 minutes of that opera everything in the world is happening. We try to make it believable that there's a full scale storm going on so that the calm after the storm is that much more calm. Those are the moments that people should notice, I suppose. But then I think of Susannah when she goes on top of the roof to sing "O What a Lovely Night" aria. There's a magical moment that is just her and the stars and the sky. Musically, it's written to be transportive, and if you can help do that, it's great. It's absolutely great.

BD: I assume you look forward to each new opera, each new challenge.

DS: I do. I really do. It's a wonderful process and it's great fun.

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Besides his special series of "Backstage" interviews, Bruce Duffie continues to present programs (including complete operas) and interviews on WNIB.  Next time in these pages, a chat with Laura Aikin, who had a great success this fall at Lyric as Zerbinetta.


The Opera Journal, December, 1998

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Duane Schuler
Duane Schuler has achieved national and international acclaim as a theatrical lighting designer for such organizations as New York Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, De Nederlandse Opera, Opera National de Lyon, San Francisco Opera, Salzburg Festival, La Scala and American Ballet Theatre. His extensive and ongoing work as a theatrical lighting designer provides the entire theatre planning group with intimate knowledge of the current styles and requirements of the world’s leading designers and directors.

Civic Opera House, Chicago, IL
Washington Opera, Washington, DC
Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, Seattle, WA
Sarasota Opera House, Sarasota, FL
Fitzgerald Theatre, St. Paul, MN
Skylight Opera Theatre, Milwaukee, WI
T.B. Sheldon Auditorium, Red Wing, MN    

"Thais," Metropolitan Opera, New York

"La Rondine," Metropolitan Opera, New York

"The First Emperor," Metropolitan Opera, New York

"The Great Gatsby," Metropolitan Opera, New York

"La Traviata," Metropolitan Opera, New York

"Pelléas et Mélisande," Metropolitan Opera, New York

"Otello," Metropolitan Opera, New York

"Lohengrin," La Scala, Milan

"Fidelio," Royal Opera House, London

"Parsifal," Gran Teatre del Liceu. Barcelona

"Tannhauser," De Nederlandse Opera, Amsterdam

"Die Bassariden," De Nederlandse Opera, Amsterdam

"Turandot," De Nederlandse Opera, Amsterdam

"Dead Man Walking," Semperoper, Dresden

"Benvenuto Cellini," Salzburg Festival

"Manon," Deutsche Staatsoper, Berlin

"Der Rosenkavelier," Deutsche Oper, Berlin

"Lulu," Opera National de Lyon, Lyon

"Eugene Onegin," Opera National de Lyon, Lyon

"Mazeppa," Opera National de Lyon, Lyon

"The Ring Cycle," Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago

"Don Giovanni," Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago

"The Marriage of Figaro," Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago

"Ernani," Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago

"Billy Budd," Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago

"The Flying Dutchman" Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago

"Fidelio" Salzburg Easter Festival, Salzburg

"Hansel and Gretel," Canadian Opera Company

"Tristan und Isolde," Los Angeles Music Center Opera, Los Angeles

"Don Carlo," Los Angeles Music Center Opera, Los Angeles

"Falstaff" Saito Kinen Festival Japan

"Alceste" Santa Fe Opera, Santa Fe

"La Traviata" Santa Fe Opera, Santa Fe

"Katya Kabanova" Santa Fe Opera, Santa Fe

"The Letter" Santa Fe Opera, Santa Fe

"House & Garden" Manhattan Theatre Club, New York

"Coppelia" Houston Ballet, Houston

"Swan Lake" American Ballet Theatre, New York

"Pillar of Fire" American Ballet Theatre, New York    

BS - University of Wisconsin, Madison    

U.S. Institute for Theatre Technology
International Association of Lighting Designers
United Scenic Artists of America
Illuminating Engineering Society of North America