Vyacheslav Okunev

Set designer and costume designer

• People’s Artist of Russia (2011)

Vyacheslav Okunev was born in Leningrad in 1957. In 1979 he graduated from the Stage Production Faculty of the Cherkasov Leningrad State Institute of Theatre, Music and Film (workshop of Ilya Segal).

As a set and costume designer he has worked on more than three hundred and fifty productions.

For many years Vyacheslav Okunev has collaborated with the Mariinsky Theatre; his works there include Giselle (1978), The Story of Kai and Gerda (1980), The Government Inspector (1980), La Sylphide (1981), Pétrouchka (1990), The Love for Three Oranges (1991; production revival: 2022), Coppélia (1992), Anna Karenina (1993), Kashchey the Immortal (1993), Mavra (1995), Les Noces (1997), Le nozze di Figaro (1998), The Young Lady and the Hooligan (2001), Il barbiere di Siviglia (2009), Eugene Onegin (2014, Primorsky Stage), The Sleeping Beauty (2017, Primorsky Stage), Die Fledermaus (2020; and in 2021 at the Republic of North Ossetia–Alania Branch of the Mariinsky Theatre in Vladikavkaz), The Maid of Orleans (2021), Benvenuto Cellini (2021), L’italiana in Algeri (2022), The Love for Three Oranges (2022). Has revived the sets for Fyodor Fedorovsky’s designs for Khovanshchina (1989) and The Maid of Pskov (2008), Konstantin Korovin’s design for Sadko (1993), Pyotr Schildknecht’s design for Aida (1998), Nina Tikhonova and Nikolai Melnikov’s design for Prince Igor (2001) and Alexander Konstantinovsky’s design for Mazepa (2009).

Vyacheslav Okunev is Principal Designer of the Mikhailovsky Theatre. Productions on which he has worked at this theatre include The Tale of Tsar Saltan, The Tsar’s Bride, La traviata, Otello, Rigoletto, Tosca, Carmen, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Die Csárdásfürstin, Die Fledermaus, Faust, Don Giovanni, Iolanta, Don Quixote, La Bayadère, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Raymonda, Giselle and Spartacus among others. He has also worked on productions performed by the Boris Eifman Ballet Theatre, the St Petersburg Chamber Opera, the Leonid Yakobson Ballet Theatre, the Lensoviet Theatre (St Petersburg) and the Novosibirsk, Samara, Krasnoyarsk and Saratov opera and ballet theatres. The artist has collaborated with the Opera and Ballet Theatre of the St Petersburg Conservatory, the Yekaterinburg and Perm opera and ballet theatres, the Rostov Musical Theatre, St Petersburg’s and Yekaterinburg’s musical comedy theatres and the Zazerkalye theatre (St Petersburg). At the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia Vyacheslav Okunev has designed for productions of La Sylphide, Russian Hamlet and Khovanshchina.

The designer has worked outside Russia a great deal, including at the Vienna State Opera, the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin, the Israeli Opera (Tel Aviv), the Theatre Royal in Glasgow, the Greek National Opera (Athens), the Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera (Warsaw), the Hungarian State Opera (Budapest), the National Theater of Korea (Seoul), New York City Ballet, the Bolshoi Theatre of Belarus (Minsk) and the New National Theatre, Tokyo. Productions designed by Vyacheslav Okunev have been presented at several Italian venues, among them the Teatro alla Scala, the Arena di Verona and the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari.

Recipient of the State Prizes of the Republics of Moldova, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Recipient of the Golden Sofit, St Petersburg’s most prestigious theatre award, in 2020 for his set and costume designs for Fiddler on the Roof directed by Lev Rakhlin (Baltic House Theatre-Festival), and in 2023 for his set design for Peter I directed by Yuri Alexandrov (St Petersburg Theatre of Musical Comedy).
Information for November 2023

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