One of opera’s leading Lighting Designers, Donald Edmund Thomas has designed productions for companies worldwide including L’Opera de Montreal, Seattle Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Opera de Puerto Rico, Dallas Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Virginia Opera, Opera Pacific, the Florentine Opera in Milwaukee, Baltimore Opera, Opera Carolina, New Orleans Opera, Arizona Opera, Opera Columbus, Fort Worth Opera, Kentucky Opera, Opera Delaware, Toledo Opera and Sarasota Opera. He was the Principal Designer for the Summer Opera Theatre Company (Washington, DC), from 1990 through 2008, designing over 25 productions.
In recent seasons, his work has included productions of Don Giovanni for Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center, La Traviata for Opera Omaha, La Boheme and Rigoletto for the new Lyric Opera Baltimore, and Die Zauberflote and La Sonnambula in rep for Florida Grand Opera. He also worked on new productions of The Music Man for the Maltz-Jupiter Theatre in Florida, and a new production of The Nutcracker, as presented by the Baltimore Symphony in a fully-staged work. This season, Donald’s work will be seen in productions of The Flying Dutchman with Michigan Opera Theatre and Rigoletto with Opera Colorado.
Donald Thomas created the lighting for the world premiere of David DiChiera and Bernard Uzan’s new classic opera Cyrano for Michigan Opera Theatre. He recreated that work for subsequent productions for the Opera Company of Philadelphia and Florida Grand Opera.
Past seasons’ projects include Carmen in separate productions at Seattle Opera and Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Le nozze di Figaro with the Lyric Opera Baltimore, The Mikado at Opera Omaha, I Pagliacci with Michigan Opera Theatre, La Voix Humaine/I Pagliacci for Opera Cleveland, Tosca at Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Otello at Palm Beach Opera, and Aida at the Atlanta Opera.
For Seattle Opera Mr. Thomas has also created the lighting for La Fanciulla del West, Manon Lescaut and I Pagliacci. As a frequent lighting designer with Florida Grand Opera, he has designed productions of La Gioconda, Katya Kabanova, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Lucia di Lammermoor, Cavalleria Rusticana/I Pagliacci, Don Giovanni and Rigoletto. With L’Opera de Montreal he has designed Il Trovatore, Otello, Carmen, La Gioconda, Die Zauberflöte, and Le Nozze di Figaro. For Michigan Opera Theatre, in addition to Cyrano, Mr. Thomas has designed Tosca, Roméo et Juliette, I Pagliacci, Rigoletto, Il trovatore and Salome. For Opera Pacific, he designed Die Walkure, Lucia di Lammermoor, Il Trovatore and Cosi Fan Tutte.
Starting in 1992, he designed over 30 productions for the former Baltimore Opera, including the Werner Herzog productions of Tannhauser and Die Zauberflöte, plus Les Pêcheurs des Perles, Norma, La Gioconda and Falstaff. Starting in 1985, he designed 52 productions for the Florentine Opera, including Porgy and Bess, Die Fledermaus, La Bohème, Hänsel und Gretel, Abduction from the Seraglio, Eugene Onegin, La Cenerentola, Die Walkure, Elektra, Rigoletto, Der Fliegende Hollander, Turandot, The Consul, The Pirates of Penzance, Carmen and La Fille du Regiment.
Other past work includes Sweeney Todd and La Tragedie de Carmen for the Augusta Opera; Don Pasquale and L’Elisir d’Amore with Toledo Opera; Rigoletto, Madama Butterfly, Aida, Faust and Otello with Palm Beach Opera; Il Trovatore and Roméo et Juliette with the Atlanta Opera; Tosca and Don Carlo with Arizona Opera; Faust with Madison Opera; Carmen, Roméo et Juliette and Faust with the Virginia Opera; and Le Nozze di Figaro for the Lyric Opera of Kansas City.
Mr. Thomas also works extensively in theater, having designed Alcazar de Paris on Broadway, Fiddler on the Roof for the Theatre Now National Tour, A Moon for the Misbegotten for American Repertory Theatre, Savages for Center Stage Theatre, and The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny for the Yale Repertory Theatre. For the Maltz-Jupiter Theatre in Florida he designed recent productions of Man of La Mancha, (for which he won a Carbonell Award), The Boyfriend, Barefoot in the Park, Deathtrap, The Full Monty, Master Class, Annie and Crazy For You. Mr. Thomas has an MFA from the Yale School of Drama in lighting and scenic design. Examples his work can be seen at www.DonaldThomasLighting.com.