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Boris Kudlička

Guest of the Opera

Set designer of Slovakian origin. He trained at the Stage and Costume Design Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava (1990–1996) and followed that with a scholarship to the Minerva Academy of Arts in Groningen, in the Netherlands. In 1995 he began his long-standing collaboration with Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera in Warsaw and a year later embarked on a freelance career as a stage designer with opera being the main focus of his work.Throughout his career up to date he has had the opportunity to work regularly with acclaimed European opera directors, most notably with Mariusz Treliński, with whom he has enjoyed a fruitful cooperation since 1999. Together they have staged several opera masterpieces such as Madama Butterfly, King Roger, Otello, Don Giovanni, Eugene Onegin, The Queen of Spades, Andrea Chénier, La bohème, Orfeo ed Euridice, Boris Godunov, Iolanta, Aleko, La traviata, Turandot, Der fliegende Holländer and Manon Lescaut. Most of these productions premiered at the Polish National Opera and subsequently travelled worldwide to major opera houses in Brussels, Berlin, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tel Aviv, Washington, Los Angeles, Frankfurt, Bern, Tokyo, Bologna, Bratislava and Valencia as well as festivals in Edinburgh, Hong Kong and Baden Baden. In January 2015, they prepared Iolanta and Bluebeard's Castle at the Metropolitan Opera, New York. Death in Venice marked the start of his collaboration with the British director Keith Warner. Together they worked on Lear and The Tempest at the Frankfurt Opera as well as Simon Boccanegra andTannhäuserat Opera National du Rhin in Strasbourg, Le nozze di Figaro at the Polish National Opera and The Devils of Loudun for the Royal Danish Opera. With the American director Dale Duesing Boris Kudlička worked at the Frankfurt Opera designing sets for Il Viaggio a Reims, The Rape of Lucrezia and Les contes d’Hoffmann, for the Nationale Reisopera in Enschede they staged Cherubini’s Médée and Bach’s St. John Passion, and he also designed sets for Duesing’s productions of Hänsel und Gretel for the Stadttheater in Bern and L ́étoile at the the Staatsoper Berlin. Boris Kudlička's professional interests reach far beyond opera. He has also designed sets for several films, theatre productions and concerts. A significant part of Boris Kudlička ́s work centers around exhibition design. Together with Andrzej Kreutz Majewski he designed the Polish pavilion for the Expo 2000 in Hannover while at the Expo 2010 in Shanghai the Polish pavilion designed by Kudlička (together with WWAA Architects) won a silver medal. A year later he joined WWAA as partner and has since collaborated on many interior and exhibition designs in Poland and abroad. Boris Kudlička has received several major awards. In 2005 he won the Polish Theatre Institute Award for set design to the production of Shakespeare’s Richard II in the Polish National Theatre. In 2006 he was awarded the Polish Gloria Artis Medal in recognition of his artistic achievements by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage. In his native country he won the Dosky Award for the best set design to the ballet production Rasputin in 2004 and again four years later for the sets to the opera Orfeo ed Euridice. The latter also earned him the Tatra Banka Foundation Award for Art in 2009. In 2007 Boris Kudlička won a gold medal at the Prague Quadrennial and a year later he was appointed General Commissioner of the Prague Quadrennial 2011. Boris Kudlička teaches stage design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw where he received his Ph.D. in 2012.
Update: June 2015

Photo: Viktor Kronbauer


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