Sonnabend, Yolanda

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SONNABEND, YOLANDA (1934– ), stage designer and painter. Yolanda Sonnabend was born in Rhodesia, but studied at the Académie des Beaux-Arts, Geneva, at Rome University, and at the Slade School of Fine Art, London. She was a resident of London from 1964. A well-known stage designer and painter, she collaborated on productions at Sadler's Wells and the Royal Opera House, London, at the Old Vic, the Stuttgart Staatsoper, and the Aldeburgh Festival. These productions included the Oresteia trilogy by Aeschylus, Monteverdi's Orfeo, The Maids by Genet, Shakespeare's The Tempest, Othello, Henry iv. and Benjamin Britten's opera, The Turn of the Screw. Her work was noted for intensity of vision and an extremely personal use of color and decoration. Among her finest efforts have been the plays of Genet, which require fantastic settings. She held exhibitions of stage designs in London, New York, and Italy, and her paintings appeared in numerous mixed exhibitions. She is represented in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and the Arts Council of Great Britain.

[Charles Samuel Spencer]