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Marina Henderson

(b Odessa, 5/Aug 18, 1907; d Paris, Feb 11, 1984). Russian stage, costume and film designer, resident in France from 1920. He studied in Paris, taking painting and sculpture at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs and architecture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In the course of a prolific career he was responsible for more than 600 productions: some 150 films (including Michel Carné’s Les visiteurs du soir, 1942), 300 plays and 200 operas, staged in most of the leading European houses. He worked with the director Peter Brook in both opera and theatre.

Wakhévitch’s designs were characterized by a bold, sometimes coarse, painterly style, the sumptuous use of strong colour, dramatic chiaroscuro lighting effects and – reflecting his architectural training – confident, if conventional, handling of complicated stage space. Typical productions were the barbarically Russian Boris Godunov (1948, Covent Garden; directed by Peter Brook), the dramatic, enduring ...