From his modernist 1950s ballet designs, to being involved in the early days of British commercial television,to the awesome opera spectacle that is Aida, and finally to teaching computer design for the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney Australia.
Tom Lingwood (1927-2001) should surely be remembered as one of the most versatile and skilled costume and set designers of his generation and the most important artistic influences in Australia's operatic life in the period 1970-1990. During his long, worldwide career, Lingwood designed the sets and costumes for scores of operas, plays , musicals and ballets. He was also famous in his native England for numerous television productions, including the highly popular variety show "Sunday Night at the Palladum". Their success led to Tom being invited to join the Australian Opera as resident designer. In 1971, as his first responsibility, he designed a spectacular and barbaric "Nabucco" In the same year he designed two enchanting sets for "The Gondoliers". It was his 1972 , the first seen in this country, that secured his reputation, however. Consequently Tom was an obvious choice to design Prokofievs massive "War&Peace" chosen for the opening of the Sydney Opera House. Tom devised a splendid series of sets that dazzled and amazed the audiences who had come to believe the Opera Theatre would never prove an adequate venue for such spectacles.