Program Books/Sabine Theunissen

Sabine Theunissen

set designer

Sabine Theunissen studied architecture in Brussels. After one year at the technical office of La Scala of Milan, she joined the Royal Theater of La Monnaie (Brussels), where she worked 17 years in the design studio. In 2003, she met William Kentridge. Their collaboration began with The Magic Flute (creation TRM 2005). Since then, she has designed sets for his opera productions, among which are The Nose (Met NYC 2010), Refuse the Hour (2012), The Refusal of Time (Documenta XIII – Kassel 2012), Winterreise (Vienna Festival, June 2014), Lulu (Met NYC, DNO, ENO 2015), and Wozzeck (Salzburg Festival 2017, Met NYC, Sydney Opera). Theunissen has also collaborate with Kentridge on art installations and exhibitions including Notes Towards a Model Opera (Beijing, Seoul, 2015), No It Is (Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin 2015), Thick Times (White Chapel-Louisiana-Salzburg-Manchester 2016), Smoke, Ashes, Fable (Bruges 2017), O Sentimental Machine (Frankfurt, Liebig Haus in 2018), and Quelle che non ricordo (Sydney 2018). Based in Brussels, Theunissen also works with other directors and choreographers, including her sister Hélène Theunissen, for whom she designed sets for La Dispute, Marrakech (Brussels 2012), and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Brussels 2017). She recently designed sets for Bug and Othello staged by Aurore Fattier. She also collaborated with the choreographer Michèle Noiret for Hors-champ (2015) and Radioscopie (2016), and with the director Lilo Baur for Ariane and Barbe-Bleue (Opera de Dijon 2012). Theunissen designed the exhibitions The Body in Indian Art (Europalia Festival, Brussels, 2013) and 1,000m² of desire (CCCB, Barcelona, 2016). She is frequently invited to give lectures at art and architecture schools including Stockholm University, Pavillon Bosio (Monaco), La Cambre (Brussels), the Fine Art School (Tournai), and EYE Filmmuseum (Amsterdam).