Yolanda Sonnabend obituary

Stage designer and portrait painter, renowned for her work with the choreographer Kenneth MacMillan

Yolanda Sonnabend’s professional career as a stage designer was blessed with success from the outset. She had her first design commission at the Royal Ballet while still an undergraduate, in 1958. Then, through the 1960s, 70s and 80s, most often working for the choreographer Kenneth MacMillan, with whom she developed a special relationship, Yolanda, who has died aged 80, designed a string of works, many at Covent Garden, but some also in Europe, that made her reputation.

Her most acclaimed ballet designs included Symphony (1963); My Brother, My Sisters (1978); L’Invitation au Voyage (1982), her own favourite; Different Drummer (1984); and Swan Lake (1987). At the same time, she worked in opera (at Sadler’s Wells and elsewhere) and for the theatre (for productions from Genet to Othello to the Messiah).

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Source: Guardian Dance News

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