Lyric’s “Ring” designer dies; CSO gathers its tour kudos

Sat Nov 08, 2014 at 2:20 pm

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Johan Engels
Johan Engels

*Johan Engels, tapped to do the set designs for the Lyric Opera’s upcoming performances of Wagner’s “Ring” cycle, has died suddenly of a heart attack, age 62.

In addition to its “Ring,” which will begin in the 2016-17 season, the South African designer did the staging of last season’s Parsifal and designed this season’s production of Weinberg’s The Passenger.

“We are shocked and deeply saddened at the tragic passing of Johan Engels,” said Lyric general director Anthony Freud.  “Johan was an incredible artist who made a tremendous impact at Lyric in just a few short seasons.

“His designs for last season’s Parsifal took our breath away. His complete commitment to Weinberg’s The Passenger, which will have its Chicago premiere in February, helped bring that work to vivid life.”

Freud said that the Lyric performances of The Passenger will be dedicated to Engels’ memory. He also stated thet Engels had completed his set designs for Lyric’s “Ring” and that Engels’ death would not affect the company’s planned production of Wagner’s epic cycle.

*The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, back this week from its extensive European tour with music director Riccardo Muti, has collected its tour reviews in one place. Log on to the CSO’s “Sounds and Stories” page to catch up on all the adulatory kudos.

Posted in News

Leave a Comment