After graduating from the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava, Josef Jelínek joined the Municipal Theatre in Zlín. From 1983, he designed costumes for the National Theatre in Prague, before working for the State Opera Prague, until 2012. He has won a number of domestic and international accolades, including the Young Set Designer Award, the Prize of the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic, and also received gold medals at the Triennial in Novi Sad and the Prague Quadrennial in 1983, as well as the coveted Czech Lion in 2002 (for Zdeněk Troška’s fairy-tale film Angelic Face). He has designed costumes for more than 950 theatre productions in Prague, Bratislava, Brno, Ostrava, Plzeň, Berlin, Monte Carlo, Ljubljana, Leeds, Bergen, Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, Mumbai, Seville and elsewhere, and has also created costumes for Petr Weigl’s musical films. Moreover, he has designed sets, primarily for ballet shows. The National Theatre opera productions for which he has created costumes include Cavalleria rusticana, Pagliacci, Rusalka and Der Rosenkavalier. The most noteworthy State Opera Prague productions he designed costumes for include the operas Rienzi, Otello, Salome, Un ballo in maschera, Nabucco, Aida, Die Fledermaus, Boris Godunov, Il trovatore, Robert le diable, Turandot, Orlando furioso, Carmen, Lucia di Lammermoor, Manon Lescaut, Vivat operetta!, Don Quichotte, Giselle, Katya Kabanova, Jenůfa and Rusalka, and the ballets Swan Lake and Giselle. Furthermore, he has designed the costumes for the productions of the operas Tosca, Les pêcheurs de perles, Aida and Nabucco, and the ballet La Bayadère at the National Theatre in Brno; the operas Turandot and Otello, the ballets Raymonda and The Nutcracker, as well as the operetta The Polish Blood, at the J. K. Tyl Theatre in Plzeň; and operas The Battered Bride and Il trovatore at the Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava. In 2012, Josef Jelínek received the prestigious Thalia Award for his lifelong achievement. Josef Jelínek collaborated with the Czech famous set designer Josef Svoboda on several opera productions: Smetana’s The Devil’s Wall (Janáček Theatre in Brno, 1979; directed by Evald Schorm), Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer (Smetana Theatre in Prague, 1986; directed by Václav Kašlík) and Kašlík’s The Brigand Ballad (National Theatre in Prague, 1986; directed by Václav Kašlík), and on two ballet productions, The Lady of the Camellias and Romeo and Juliet (National Theatre in Prague, 1991 and 1998; directed by Petr Weigl). In 1990, Jelínek and Svoboda worked for the Deutsche Oper in Berlin on Petr Weigl’s production of Strauss’s Salome, conducted by Giuseppe Sinopoli.