Tom Lingwood became an artistic director of the Australian Opera (later Opera Australia) In 1970 Tom Lingwood created two highly successful productions for the Australian Opera. In an enchanting La Bohème, Lingwood's pictorial, storybook sets provided a perfect setting for Puccini's opera of adolescent love and tragedy. Simultaneously he designed dramatic and spectacular sets for Verdi's Forza del Destino. For the Australian Ballet he then designed a spectacular new Swan Lake, directed by Anne Woolliams a production that is being replaced only this year after serving well for 25 years. He followed that up in 1993 with two Balanchine works, Night Shadows and Symphony in C. He also designed a stunning Sound of Music for the Adelaide Festival Centre Trust that starred Julie Anthony and toured nationally.
Lingwood broke new ground by designing a series of stunning sets for my production of Aida in the Concert Hall of the Opera House. The way Tom's designs managed to turn the Concert Hall into the most effective of opera venues marked the pinnacle of his design career. Later the same year, he directed and designed a new production of Carmen for the West Australian Opera and a new production of Salome for the Concert Hall of the Opera House. He also designed for the Australian Opera a new Fanciulla del West and William Walton and Paul Dehn's The Bear, his final work for the company. In his last 10 years in Australia, Lingwood lectured in design at NIDA where he again encouraged new talent and became expert in computer design. In 1997, when he began to develop serious and inoperable heart problems, he decided to return to Europe. Tom and his partner of nearly 50 years, FRANS VAN NORDE , sold their Paddington terrace in Sydney and bought an apartment in Haarlem, Holland. 1973 The Sydney Opera House opened in 1973 with Sergei Prokofiev’s War and Peace, anepic production that was televised and broadcast around the world to great acclaim and, according to some commentators, symbolised Australia’s arrival on the international arts and culture scene. The clip gives glimpses of Tom Lingwood and US director Sam Wanamaker’s preparations for this momentous occasion in Australian arts history.