Davy Cunningham

Davy Cunningham was born in Scotland and studied philosophy at Stirling University.  He has worked extensively in both opera and theatre and has lit over 150 opera productions world-wide. He is a recipient of the Martinu Foundation Award in the Czech Republic.


Opera productions in Britain include: Greek Passion (Royal Opera, London also Brno); many productions at the English National Opera including Manon Lescaut, Nabucco and The Excursions of Mr. Brouchek (also Munich), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (also Aix-en-Provence, Lyon, Athens, Ravenna, Turin, Strasbourg, Ludwigshafen & Bordeaux) and The Mikado (also New York City Opera, Houston, Portland and Venice); fourteen works for Opera North including The Adventures of Pinocchio (also Chemnitz and Minnesota), Tristan und Isolde (also Bochum) and Julietta (also Opera Zuid and Prague); eight productions for Scottish Opera including Minotaur; Rigoletto; Il trovatore (also Santander), Don Giovanni, Katya Kabanova, Norma and Dalibor (1998 Edinburgh Festival); Il trovatore and Cendrillon for Welsh National Opera (also Monte-Carlo, Turin, Toulouse and Antwerp); Angel Magick (1998 BBC Proms, London); The Daughter of the Regiment (English Touring Opera); Mr. Emmet Takes A Walk (Orkney Festival, Vienna 2003); Thérèse Raquin (Linbury Studio, ROH 2006). Davy was lighting consultant for English National Opera’s Italian season in 2000.


European opera productions include Giulio CesareI Capuleti e i Montecchi (also Genoa) and Manon Lescaut (Opéra de Paris-Bastille & Garnier); Der Freischütz (Montpellier and Liège); Boris Godunov (Opera National de Lyon and Mannheim); Mahagonny, Der Rosenkavalier (Nancy); Der Rosenkavalier (Monte Carlo); Manon Lescaut (Bologna); Macbeth (Kirov-Mariinski, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Kennedy Center, Metropolitan Opera); Don Carlos (Staatsoper, Berlin); I puritani, Faust, Katya Kabanova (Bayerische Staatsoper); Lear and Death in Venice (Frankfurt); La bohème (Hamburg); Fidelio, Les Troyens, Der Freischütz (Leipzig); Wozzeck, Cavalleria rusticana and I pagliacci (Essen); Norma, The Nose and L’elisir d’amore (Nederlandse Opera); Zora D (Opera Studio Netherlands, Vienna and Belgrade); Werther, Macbeth, La Cenerentola, The Turn of the Screw and Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (La Monnaie); Il barbiere de Siviglia, Luisa Miller, Otello, Pique Dame, Tosca (also Lisbon and Venice) and Parsifal (Vlaamse Opera, Antwerp); Fidelio and Der fliegende Holländer (Opéra Royale de Wallonie); Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Khovanschina (Barcelona), Pelléas et Mélisande, Werther, Le nozze di Figaro and Idomeneo (Copenhagen); Tosca (seen in the James Bond film ‘The Quantum of Solace’), Greek Passion, Fidelio, Der fliegende Holländer and Nabucco (Bregenzer Festspiele); Die Zauberflöte and Don Giovanni (Wiener Kammeroper); Leoncavallo’s La bohème, Luisa Miller, Yolanta and Werther (Vienna Festival); Fidelio, Tristan und Isolde, Les Dialogues des Carmélites, Lohengrin and La bohème (Göteborg);  Life with an Idiot (Malmö and Copenhagen); Fidelio, Barabas (Oslo); Idomeneo (Lausanne); Die lustige Witwe (Basel and Copenhagen) and Jenufa and Fidelio (Geneva).


Further afield he has lit Roméo et Juliette (Metropolitan Opera); Giulio Cesare (Australian Opera and Los Angeles) and Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Istanbul International Music Festival at Topkapi Museum). 


London West End includes Chekhov’s Ivanov, Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing and Nicol Williamson’s one man show Jack; The Taming of the Shrew at the RSC; The Miser at the National Theatre and five productions at the Old Vic.  For Yuri Lyubimov he lit productions in London, Vienna and Bologna as well as operas in Karlsruhe and Paris. 


Other theater productions include The House of Bernarda Alba, Big Maggie (Abbey, Dublin); Beckett Cycle (also Barbican London), The Constant Wife (also Charleston/Spoleto 2007), The Weir, Lady Windermere’s Fan and The Importance of Being Earnest (Gate, Dublin); Sive and Well of the Saints leading to the complete cycle of all J.M. Synge’s plays for Druid Theatre Galway (Druid Theatre, Galway, Edinburgh Festival 2005, New York and Minneapolis 2006; also Playboy of the Western World on tour in the USA 2008) and The Cripple of Inishmaan (also Broadway 2008-2009); Translations (Princeton and Broadway 2006-2007); A Winter’s Tale, As You Like It, Othello and seven Christmas productions at the Royal Lyceum Edinburgh; As You Like It at the Nottingham Playhouse and Julius Caesar at Birmingham Rep.; Blue Orange (Scottish tour 2005); A Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Druid, Galway); Moonlight and Magnolias (Tricycle Theatre).


Future new productions in 2008-2009: Cardillac and Doktor Faustus (Dresden); Aïda (Hamburg).

Image of: Davy Cunningham

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