Elisabeth Dalton

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Elisabeth Dalton was one of the world’s most prolific ballet and opera designers. She designed shows in Germany, Italy and Russia as well as many productions at the Royal Opera House in London. She designed the sets and costumes for the Stuttgart Ballet production of John Cranko’s The Taming of the Shrew (1969), widely regarded as her most successful work.

Born in London on September 3, 1950, Dalton studied theatre design at the Wimbledon School of Art and later at the Slade. She worked as an assistant at the Royal Opera House on productions of The Nutcracker and Aida (both 1968) and on Les Troyens the following year.

Cranko’s The Taming of the Shrew went on to be a worldwide success. After its premiere in 1969 it was became part of the Royal Ballet’s repertoire and was performed in Milan and by the Bolshoi in Moscow.

Dalton went on to design several other Cranko ballets, including The Lady and the Fool and Pineapple Poll. She worked with Kenneth Macmillan on The Sphinx and Checkpoint (both 1968) and she also designed the Stuttgart Ballet’s production of Rogers and Hart’s On Your Toes (1990).

She worked for some years with the opera director John Cox and designed sets and costumes for his production of Mozart’s Il re pastore in Wexford in 1971, as well as The Merry Widow for ENO at the Coliseum in 1972. The two of them also staged Der Rosenkavalier (1975) and Arabella (1977 and 1979).

Dalton was also a well known and respected teacher, notably at Central School in London.

She died on March 27, aged 63.

Patrick Newley