Tristan in Miniature

Charlie Edwards' tiny theatre


Director and designer Charles Edwards made his Royal Opera debut in 2003 on Elektra. He subsequently returned to create set designs for Faust and Adriana Lecouvreur, and Werther.

A decade ago he directed and designed two operas for Grange Park Opera Idomeneo and Don Quichotte. Back then he showed Wasfi a perfectly gorgeous working scale model of a Victorian theatre that he had built . . . for fun.

During lockdown the poor model theatre (named Woglinde) was covered with a cloth and Charlie placed on top of it his design for Don Carlos for the Met. The studio is still very cluttered with designs for Norma (Teatro Real Madrid) and La Calisto (La Scala), but Wasfi convinced Charlie to whip off the cloth, dust down Woglinde and give us a tour.

Edwards studied at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design. As a designer, he has worked with many of the UK’s leading directors on productions for English National Opera including Norma (also Bordeaux), Katya Kabanova (also Lisbon and Liceu, Barcelona), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (also Moscow), Lucia di Lammermoor (also Gothenburg, Teatro Real, Madrid, Norwegian National Opera, Washington, Toronto), Jenufa (also Houston, Santa Fe) and The Makropoulos Affair (also Prague); and for Opera North including Cavalleria rusticana, The Greek Passion, Trouble in Tahiti, Trial by Jury and Tosca (also Opera Australia). Other design credits include Faust (Teatr Wielki, Poznan) Kiss Me Kate (Théâtre du Châtelet, Graz and Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg), Falstaff (Vienna State Opera), La gazza ladra (Frankfurt), Macbeth (Houston, Chicago), Il trovatore (Metropolitan Opera, New York, Chicago, San Francisco), Le nozze di Figaro (Genoa, Barcelona, Bordeaux, Paris, Tel Aviv), I masnadieri (La Scala Milan), Die tote Stadt(Théâtre du Châtelet) and Attila (Strasbourg, Tel Aviv).

Edwards made his directing debut in 2001 and has since directed / designed productions including Tristan und Isolde (Teatro de São Carlos, Lisbon), Rigoletto and Pagliacci (Opera North), Turandot (Nationale Reisopera).