Maria Björnson

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Maria Björnson
Maria Elena Bjornson by Steve Speller, 1988, grayscale, cropped, low-res.jpg
Björnson in 1988, photographed by Steve Speller
Born 16 February 1949
Died 13 December 2002
Known for

Maria Elena Björnson (16 February 1949 – 13 December 2002) was a theatre designer. She was born in Paris to a Norwegian father and Romanian mother.

Björnson studied at the Byam Shaw School of Art and at the Central School of Art and Design.[1][2] She designed sets and costumes for theatre, ballet and opera. She worked for the Royal Shakespeare Company, and designed Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera, which won her the Tony Award for Best Scenic Design, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Set Design, and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design, and the Trevor Nunn production of Aspects of Love.

Björnson was course director for Theatre Design at the Central School of Art and Design.[citation needed] She died in London on 13 December 2002. She was 53.[2]

In 2006, the refurbished Young Vic opened a new theatre named The Maria in her honour. The first performance in The Maria was Love and Money by Dennis Kelly, directed by Matthew Dunster and designed by Anna Fleischle.[citation needed]

In the 2011 25th Anniversary Concert of The Phantom of The Opera, the chandelier, considered Maria's greatest stage triumph, was named Maria in honour of her with the name inlaid on the inside of the $2M set piece.

Her great-grandfather was the Nobel prize-winning Norwegian playwright Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Anne Midgette (22 December 2002). Maria Bjornson, 53, Designer For Opera, Theater and Dance. The New York Times. Accessed September 2013.
  2. ^ a b David Jays (16 December 2002). Maria Bjornson: A leading set and costume designer, she brought a unique sense of romantic expressionism to theatre, opera and musicals. The Guardian. Accessed September 2013.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Maria Björnson at the Internet Broadway Database