Johan Engels

Set Designer, Costume Designer
Born in Scottburgh in Natal and grew up in Durban, Republic of South Africa. He studied Fine Arts and Design at the University of Pretoria and after extensive work with the Market Theatre and the Performing Arts Council of Transvaal (1975-1980), he moved to England. Initially he worked on small opera productions in London and then, for six years, created the stage designs of all productions for the former chief executive of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Terry Hands. A milestone in his career in the opera was the beginning of his co-operation with David Pountney (1998) with whom he collaborated on more than 30 productions. He worked with international opera companies including: Welsh National Opera, New York Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Paris Opera, Canadian Opera, National Opera of England and Wales, German State Opera Berlin, the Vienna State Opera /Vienna People’s Opera Marseille Opera. He designed the sets and costumes for performances at the Salzburg Festival,Glimmerglass, Bregenz, at the Chichester Festival Theatre, on Broadway, and in Helsinki, Valencia and Zurich. Included among his works are the operas Turandot, Case Chovantski, Masquerade, Don Carlos, Die Passagierin (Weinberg), Die Zauberflöte, Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Les Troyens, Lulu, Faust, L'elisir d'amore, Otello, the ballets Giselle, Swan Lake and the musicals Showboat and Anything Goes. For the Greek National Opera he designed the sets for the production of La vida breve and also Il prigioniero (Dallapiccola) 2006/07. // Last update of the biography: March 2022 - The list of the productions below is continually updated.