The National Ballet of Canada was saddened by the passing of Peter Farmer a world renowned ballet, opera and theatre designer. Through the course of his career Mr. Farmer designed four ballets for the National Ballet, Les Sylphides, Troy Game, Manon and Madame Butterfly.
After completing a theatrical design course with honours, Peter Farmer’s first stage design was Jack Carter’s Agrionia for the London Dance Theatre in 1964, followed shortly after by Giselle for Ballet Rambert in 1965. Giselle is the ballet most associated with Mr. Farmer, throughout his career he has designed more than 10 versions of the production. Mr. Farmer has designed for most of the major ballet companies in the world, including The Royal Ballet, London Festival Ballet, London Contemporary Dance Theatre, Houston Ballet, London City Ballet, The Royal Danish Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, the Cologne Opera, Stuttgart Ballet, Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, New London Ballet, Ballet Rambert, Scottish Ballet, Northern Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, The Washington Ballet and Chicago City Ballet.
His work includes designs for The Sleeping Beauty for the Bavarian State Opera; Anna Karenina and The Three Musketeers for The Australian Ballet, Giselle for Houston Ballet and Theatro Municipal Rio de Janeiro, Swan Lake for Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Hong Kong Ballet, The Great Gatsby for Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, The Nutcracker for Cincinnati Ballet, Les Sylphides for the Teatro Municipal Rio de Janeiro, A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Ballet de Chambre de Hirofumi Inoue in Japan, Theme and Variations and Divertimento No. 15 for Sadler’s Wells Theatre (now Birmingham Royal Ballet).
He designed Anna Karenina for Ballet de Santiago de Teatro Municipal de Santiago, the Norwegian National Ballet, La Traviata for London City Ballet, Cinderella for Cincinnati Ballet, Giselle also for the Star Dancers Ballet Company in Tokyo, Coppélia for the National Ballet of Portugal and also for the Ballet de Chambre de Hirofumi Inoue in Japan and The Nutcracker also for Pittsburgh Ballet. He designed Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Winter Dreams for The Royal Ballet and Manon for the Australian, Vienna, Houston and Kirov Ballets. Other designs include Peter Darrell’s Tales of Hoffmann for Hong Kong Ballet, Sir Frederick Ashton’s Birthday Offering for Birmingham Royal Ballet, Butterfly for The Australian Ballet and Swan Lake for English National Ballet at the Royal Albert Hall London.
Mr. Farmer was also a prolific book illustrator and a successful painter who has had numerous solo exhibitions of his work.