Opera Design and Technology


“It is good to see the Opera Company of Philadelphia take some chances in repertoire and production choices, as it has done so increasingly in the last few seasons, but it is even more rewarding to witness a real jelling of OCP’s artistic vision in a mainstream work. In the luminous Il trovatore that opens this season, a distinct sense of style can be detected that links this production to previous OCP successes. The formula centers around the cultivation of relationships with fine young singing actors and elegant, minimalist stagings.

At the heart of this distinctiveness is the team of director Kay Walker Castaldo and Boyd Ostroff, previously known as the lighting designer, but now, by virtue of his enlarged tool box, officially known as the director of design and technology. Almost all of the scenery for this Il trovatore derives from lighting effects and projected imagery. Ostroff paints the stage in bold, broad strokes, with a keen sense for the emotional impact of differing colors.” – Peter Burwasser, Philadelphia City Paper, 10/9/2003

More about Il Trovatore…



“This is the OCP’s opening full production, and Boyd Ostroff’s new setting surrounds the cast with economical opulence, hangings suggesting rooms of state or a castle boudoir, a formal garden, and the unused space meant to be the bedroom of Figaro and Susanna. Settings are not the opera, of course, but here they meet the twin demands of traditional grandeur and necessary economy.” – Daniel Webster, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 11/15/1999

“Boyd Ostroff’s set was a marvelously flexible creation that struck a perfect balance between detail and simplicity, giving distinct sense of place to each scene” – Elaine Schmidt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5/11/2013

More about The Marriage of Figaro…



“This home-grown production by the Opera Company of Philadelphia succeeds in almost every way. The sets and costumes are among the best the company has produced in recent seasons and serve the drama well.” – Mark H. Beers, Philadelphia Weekly, 3/30/2000

“Special mention for set design goes to Boyd Ostroff, particularly his recreation of the  stunning visual masterpiece at the end of the second act, after Tosca plunges her knife into  secret police chief Scarpia.” -Craig Howle, Splash Magazines, 11/16/2005

More about Tosca…



“The most attractive set, and the most distinctly artful one I’ve seen in an Opera Company production, comes in Act II, in the drawing room of Don Andres. Painted in rich colors and elaborate detail, Boyd Ostroff’s rendering of a royal abode never seemed more like something worth aspiring to. It did what the best set design does, giving added emotional understanding to Perichole’s attraction to the world of wealth and power, even when it thwarted her own path to true love.” – Peter Dobrin, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/22/2002

“The bright, comic-book-like sets by Boyd Ostroff hit just the right notes.” – Peter Burwasser , Philadelphia City Paper, 1/31/2002

More about La Périchole…


“Designer Boyd Ostroff outdoes himself with an inviting background seascape and playing spaces set off by diaphanous scrims, suiting the Sri Lankan setting and lovely score to perfection.” – David Shengold, Philadelphia City Paper, 4/29/2004

“A dreamily romantic setting designed by Boyd Ostroff, originally created for Opera Company of Philadelphia, was a showcase in itself” – Charles H. Parsons, Opera News, 2/2/2007

More about The Pearl Fishers….



“The power of this opera was punched out into the audience by two chief elements: a strong, vividly colored sound from the orchestra, as directed by Andreas Mitisek, and the dark, Gothic stage design and whorehouse lighting effects created by Boyd Ostroff.” – Peter Burwasser, Philadelphia City Paper, 5/4/2000

“Don’t get me wrong: This production soared on vivid vocal performances, well-supported by a strong orchestra in the pit–even if Boyd Ostroff’s striking, multi-story granite, gold and lunar set for the Opera Company of Philadelphia seriously threatened to upstage the lot of them.” – Byron Woods, INDY Week, 2/22/2006

More about Salome…



“The operas of Massenet are a rare commodity in the American Mid-West, and none had ever been produced by INDIANAPOLIS OPERA until the company mounted a dreamily beautiful new production of Werther. A basic simple setting designed by Boyd Ostroff had only some tree projections on veil-like hangings with a few solid, realistic pieces to set the scene. But Ostroff’s magical lighting supplied a mood-creating fantasy” – Charles H. Parsons, Opera Magazine, December 2003

More about Werther…



“Played out on a lovely Boyd Ostroff set full of mountain vistas, this very enjoyable production might be the ideal introduction for anyone new to opera. If it doesn’t make you smile, it’s likely that no opera will.” – Rob Hubbard, Minnesota Star Tribune, 2/6/2023

“Stellar sets and lighting aren’t an absolute requisite for bel canto opera; beautiful singing is the thing. But it helps that this production looks good… with its blue-green backdrops of Tyrolean peaks and cascades. The Marchioness’ parlor is indicated by immense golden door frames that are rather over-the-top but support the slapstick view.” – Lesley Valdes, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 4/22/1998

“Much credit must be given to the creative team Dorothy Danner, Boyd Ostroff, Beni Montresor and Steven Bryant for putting together a brilliant show with colorful, but not over done costumes and sets” – Press Desk, Opera Pulse, 5/4/2013

More about Daughter of the Regiment…



“Giulietta was perched unusually high, 12 feet up, during the scene – a lovely bit of staging that made the point that she yearned for escape, while pointing the way toward the end, when she ultimately found it near God. Religious iconography and architecture, some of it quite beautiful, was put to smart use by set designer Boyd Ostroff.” – Peter Dobrin, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 4/9/2002

“The production by Kay Walker Castaldo was a fairly traditional one, but with a few flights of fancy that aided her storytelling, as did the fittingly beautiful sets by Boyd Ostroff.” – Maria Nockin, Opera Japonica, 4/27/2002

More about I Capuleti e i Montecchi…



“The production, the first designed and built by the company itself, has a number of enchantments, but its visual realization – sets, costumes, and splendid projections – are a particular cause for celebration for those of us who have struggled to listen past the ill-fitting dungeons and borrowed castles on the Academy stage over the years. At last, a set that fits, and makes sense, and serves Mozart’s fantasy. Those were my first thoughts on witnessing the fruits of this new production venture, which bodes well for the company’s future under general director Robert B. Driver.” – Lesley Valdes, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/16/1994

“Boyd Ostroff’s set, built for the Opera Company of Philadelphia, was positively enchanting.” – Maria Nockin, Opera Today, 12/11/2010

More about The Magic Flute…



“So lovely is the elusive, sea-dominated Nagasaki that in-house designers Boyd Ostroff and Kevin Baratier have created — mostly by canny lighting — that a discussion of the new production must start here.” – Lesley Valdes, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 11/13/1996

“The lighting, choreographed with virtuoso precision by Boyd Ostroff, produced a glowing atmosphere in the Act 1 love duet. This took place on an almost bare stage, except for an ominously lit statue of Buddha. The oddly pulsating and twinkling stars as well as the calmly lapping waves of Nagasaki harbor were achieved by back-lighting of seamless, full-stage screens. It invoked dream imagery that reinforced the illusory nature of Butterfly’s love. ” – Peter Burwasser, Philadelphia City Paper, 11/13/1996

More about Madama Butterfly…



“Sets, costumes and voices are handsome, the staging is appropriately spirited, and the orchestra has plenty of fizz.” – David Patrick Stearns, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 5/3/2005

“Ostroff’s ability to realize the director’s vision while working within budgetary constraints and still pull down raves from the critics was most recently evident in last fall’s original production of Die Fledermaus.” – Seven Arts Magazine, “50 Names to Remember”, January 1996

More about Die Fledermaus…




“As familiar as La Boheme is, this is the first OCP production in eight seasons. Local audiences have, however, been afforded several opportunities to experience the work in the past several years, in stagings from Curtis, Center City Opera Theater and AVA. For whatever the work gained in intimacy in each of these smaller-scale productions, this new OCP version far surpasses the competition in sheer grand opera drama. This is a luxurious and exceedingly pretty La Boheme, with lively and smart set designs by Boyd Ostroff and a flow of action, as directed by Robert Driver, that takes full advantage of the ample space. There is an elegance and richness here that only a big-budget production can achieve; it is an easy pleasure to drink it in.” -Peter Burwasser, Philadelphia City Paper, 11/1/2006

More about La Bohème…


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