Robert Wierzel

Lighting Designer

“We want to give [The Marriage of Figaro]’s story a fresh, more contemporary sensibility, even though it’s in a period setting,” says the American lighting designer. “In the first three acts the lighting contributes crispness and cleanness, with interiors that are warm and inviting. But in the last scene, how do we deal with people onstage who can’t really see each other, while revealing them to an audience that does need to see them? That involves a certain level of abstraction, finding the fun and comedy, with cool, dappled, slightly romantic light.” Among Wierzel’s recent operatic achievements during the past two seasons have been productions for the Glimmerglass festival (Cato in Utica, Macbeth, Madama Butterfly, An American Tragedy), Seattle Opera (Semele, Ariadne auf Naxos, Les contes d’Hoffmann), Boston Lyric Opera (Le vin herbé), and Bergen National Opera (Le coq d’or). Wierzel has also designed for Paris’s Palais Garnier and the major opera companies of Toronto, Montreal, San Francisco, and Houston, among others. Broadway productions include Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill starring Audra McDonald, Fela! (Tony nomination), and David Copperfield’s Dreams and Nightmares. Off-Broadway Wierzel has been associated with the Roundabout, Public, Signature, and Playwrights Horizons theater companies. He has designed for such distinguished regional theaters as the Alliance, Goodman, A.C.T./ San Francisco, Hartford Stage, Long Wharf, Guthrie, Mark Taper Forum, Old Globe, and Chicago Shakespeare. Productions during a three-decade collaboration with choreographer Bill T. Jones have earned Wierzel several Bessie Awards. The Yale School of Drama alumnus currently teaches there and at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Previously at Lyric Opera: The Marriage of Figaro (2015|16); Macbeth (2010|11); Partenope (2002|03).

Last updated: September 26, 2015