John Macfarlane

John Macfarlane is regarded internationally as one of the leading designers of stage sets and costumes for Opera, Ballet and Theatre. Recognised by his tutors early on as a rising star, John graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1970. He left Scotland to start his career spending two years as resident designer at the Young Vic Theatre, London and for the first fifteen years of his career he designed mainly for dance for many of the major International companies including The Netherland Dance Theatre, The Danish Royal Ballet, The Vienna State Opera, The Canadian Royal Ballet and the Dance Theatre of Harlem. Macfarlane’s classic Ballet repertoire includes Giselle and Sweet Violets for The Royal Ballet, La Ronde for the Canadian Royal Ballet and Cinderella, Birmingham Royal Ballet. John regularly collaborates with many eminent producers and choreographers for both ballet and opera, for which he has won several prestigious awards, including an Olivier Award for Opera (Hansel and Gretel, Trojans and Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk) and The Royal Philharmonic Award for Opera (The Queen of Spades). He has designed costumes and sets for Scottish Opera, including Julius Caesar and The Rake’s Progress.

One of Glasgow School of Art’s most successful Graduates, he is a most accomplished painter and printmaker, demonstrating superb draughtsmanship and expertise. His eminence in the world of international opera and ballet makes Macfarlane much sought after. With a diary heavily scheduled for years ahead, he is currently juggling parallel careers of theatre design with his desire to express himself in the world of Fine Art. As a New Graduate he was selected for the renowned Compass Gallery New Generation Show.

In 2016, John designed ‘Frankenstein’, a new three act ballet for the Royal Ballet and San Francisco Ballet. Over the next few years he is commissioned to design sets and costumes for a new ‘Swan Lake’ at Covent Garden (2018),’ Tosca’ (2017), as well as ‘Flying Dutchmen’ and Handel’s ‘Agrippina’ for the Metropolitan Opera House, New York.

John now lives and works in the tranquillity of the beautiful green valleys of South Wales and successfully exhibits as a painter and printmaker in the UK, the USA and Europe. His fine art which is scarce and coveted by collectors worldwide is held in national and international public and private collections, including The National Museum and Galleries of Wales, The Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery, Glasgow, The Albertina, Vienna, The V & A Museum, London, Kunstshalle, Nuremberg, Arts Council of Wales, Archive of l’ Opera, Paris, Metropolitan Opera House Collection, New York. John was created a Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2006, is a judge of The Linbury Prize for Theatre Design, and is a Fellow of The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.