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Video Published: 05 Feb 2024

NEA Opera Honors: An Oral History with John Conklin

In 2011, stgae designer John Conklin was awarded an NEA Opera Honors award and sat down for an interview about opera and their life.

This interview was originally posted by the NEA on October 30, 2011.
The Oral History Project is supported by the Arthur F. and Alice E. Adams Charitable Foundation. 

John Conklin, designer

John Conklin has designed sets and costumes for major American opera houses including New York City Opera, Opera Theater of Saint Louis, The Glimmerglass Festival, and the opera companies of Dallas, Houston, Minneapolis, Washington, Los Angeles, Santa Fe, and Boston. At the Metropolitan Opera, he designed the world premiere of John Corigliano and William M. Hoffman’s The Ghosts of Versailles and Jonathan Miller’s production of Pelléas et Mélisande, among others. He has completed two Ring cycles, at San Francisco Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago. Conklin has also designed for Broadway and off-Broadway, including The Public Theater, and extensively for regional theater. Conklin taught at the Tisch School of Arts (NYU) and served as the associate artistic director of The Glimmerglass Festival, and he is currently artistic advisor to Boston Lyric Opera.

Conklin was a 2011 recipient of the NEA Opera Honors, a program administered by the National Endowment for the Arts from 2008 to 2011. The NEA Opera Honors recipients are now recognized in OPERA America’s Opera Hall of Fame.

Oral History Project

Discover the full collection of oral histories at the link below.