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Michael Scott-Mitchell

Michael Scott-Mitchell

Set Designer

Michael Scott-Mitchell studied architecture at Sydney University before receiving a Bachelor of Dramatic Art - Design from NIDA.

His extensive credits include the set design for State Opera of South Australia’s Der Ring Des Nibelungen which opened in November 2004 after four years of development, winning the 2005 Helpmann Award for the Best Scenic Design. This work also won Helpmann Awards for the Best Opera and the Best Special Event.  In 2005 under the auspices of the Goethe Institute a major exhibition of Michael’s Ring Cycle photographs were exhibited at the Sydney Opera House. The collection of these images has now been acquired by the National Library. Other major work includes conceiving and designing the Cauldron & Ceremonial Stage for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and the Cauldron, Ceremonial Stages and a number of Cultural Segments for the Opening Ceremony of the 2006 Asian Games in Doha. Michael’s Cauldron for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games is now permanently displayed in Olympic Park, Homebush NSW and is youngest design work to be heritage listed in Australia. His Cauldron for the 2006 Asian Games in Doha is also on permanent display in Doha.

Michael’s 2014 designs include Jasper Jones for Barking Gecko Theatre Company, Switzerland for Sydney Theatre Company and the Asian Football Cup launch staged in the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House and return seasons of L’elisir d’amore and Tosca for Opera Australia and Il Trovatore for West Australian Opera.

2013 designs included Tosca for Opera Australia, Storm Boy for Barking Gecko/Sydney Theatre Company and Freeze Frame for Brisbane Festival. 

2011/12 designs included Boundary Street for Black Swan and Brisbane Festival, set design for the Opening Ceremony of CHOGM in Perth, and the new Musical Dr Zhivago (Greenroom Nomination for Best Set Design and a APDG Highly Commended Award) directed by Des McAnuff for the Gordon Frost Organisation, which opened in Sydney and toured to Melbourne, Brisbane and Korea.

2010 designs included Honour and Long Day’s Journey into Night for Sydney Theatre Company in Sydney and in Portland in the United States and the IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships, Doha

Other recent designs include Travesties and Elling for Sydney Theatre Company, La Fanciulla del West (APDG Award for Best Design on a Theatre Production 2011) for Opera Conference, mounted by State Opera of South Australia and West Australian Opera, Opera Australia (Sydney) and Opera Queensland, FIFA World Congress 2008, staged in the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House, Don Giovanni for Opera Australia, and World Youth Day - Stations of the Cross, which was broadcast internationally in July 2008.

Other major work includes production design of the Opening Ceremony for CHOGM 2002 and the smash hit musical Shout! for Jacobsen Entertainment. He has worked extensively in opera designing Andrea Chénier for Opera Conference, Opera Australia’s L’Elisir d’Amore (Green Room Award for best Opera Design), Rinaldo (Green Room Nomination for Best Opera Design), Tannhäuser (Green Room Nomination for Best Opera Design) and The Puccini Spectacular.  For Opera Queensland, State Opera of South Australia and WA Opera, he designed Il Trovatore (Adelaide Critics Award and an inaugural Helpmann award nomination for Best Opera Design).

For the Sydney Theatre Company he has designed twenty-nine productions. Apart from the productions already mentioned these include Ying Tong (Sydney Theatre Award nomination and Green Room Award), Macbeth, Amigos, Major Barbara, A Delicate Balance, Life of Galileo, As You Like It, Les Parents Terribles (Chief Glugg’s Award), Dead Funny and The Trackers of Oxyrhyncus. He was Bell Shakespeare Company’s inaugural designer and has designed ten productions for them, including Troilus & Cressida, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Merchant of Venice. For the State Theatre Company of South Australia he designed A Hard God, Tales from the Arabian Nights & Solstice. Michael has also designed for the MTC, the Tempest (Green Room Nomination for Best Theatre Design) and The Unexpected Man, QTC, Gift of the Gorgon, Navigating, Long Day’s Journey Into Night and the Tempest and Belvoir Street Theatre, Diving for Pearls, Cockroach Opera and The Unexpected Man as well as Harry M. Miller’s arena and theatrical productions of Jesus Christ Superstar

He was a founding director of the architectural firm D4DESIGN formed in 1987 with partners Bill MacMahon and Stephen Roberts. The company took on a wide range of design briefs, amongst the most notable, the design for the multi award winning Rockpool Restaurant in Sydney’s Rocks and Regents Court Hotel. More recently he refurbished Rockpool with another original D4 partner, Bill MacMahon.

Michael has lectured in Theatre Design at UTS, Wollongong University, Sydney University and NIDA and has taught Interior Architecture at The University of NSW. He is currently Head of Design at NIDA and Director, Undergraduate Studies and sits on NIDA’s Board of Studies and on the board of Legs on the Wall.