Patrick Kinmonth

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Patrick Charles Kinmonth (born 27 August 1957) is an Anglo-Irish opera director and designer, filmmaker, writer, painter, interior designer, art editor, creative director and curator. He is widely known for his many stage, costume, interior and architectural designs[1] and has been recognised internationally for the breadth and depth of his creative interests.[2] His many collaborations have yielded landmark opera, ballet and dance productions, books and exhibitions. Kinmonth is working principally as an opera director and has been awarded and acknowledged for the quality of his work as exhibition curator, designer in many fields and general creative force.[3] He has been described as "a contemporary example of the Renaissance man"[4] and "one of the most indefinable personalities of contemporary art".[5]

Early life[edit]

Kinmonth is the youngest of four siblings. His father, Maurice Kinmonth (1917–2009), was a consultant plastic surgeon,[6] who encouraged young Patrick's talent for drawing. He was educated at Uppingham School and in 1977 gained a place at Mansfield College, University of Oxford to study English Language and Literature,[7] and enrolled at The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art as an associate student.

During his undergraduate years, Kinmonth regularly participated in theatre productions at the Oxford Playhouse and elsewhere as director, designer and actor. At Oxford he became the art director of The Isis (the Oxford University magazine).

After graduating from Oxford aged 20 in 1979 with a first class degree in English language and literature,[8] Kinmonth moved to Venice with the intention of continuing his work as a painter and lectured on aspects of modern art and poetry.[9][10] He returned to the UK in 1981 to seek a wider artistic practice. Kinmonth was a winner of British Vogue's Talent Competition[11] and was appointed as arts editor of Vogue. He has subsequently contributed articles to British Vogue, Vogue Italia, American Vogue and Vanity Fair on emerging artists, designers, architects and directors and many of the world's leading photographers.[12][13]


Vogue and Beyond[edit]

Kinmonth's role at British Vogue included creative direction for fashion and portraiture shoots. He commissioned work from, and collaborated with, many renowned photographers, ranging from André Kertész, Jacques Henri Lartigue and Horst to David Bailey, Mario Testino, Tessa Traeger and Bruce Weber. Kinmonth commissioned Testino's first photographic contributions for Vogue, launching an ongoing creative collaboration. He also forged a relationship with Traeger, citing her as one of his enduring inspirations.[14] In 2003 Kinmonth curated A Gardener's Labyrinth: Portraits of People, Plants and Places, an exhibition of Traeger’s photography for the National Portrait Gallery, and wrote the text for the eponymous book, translated into Dutch and German.

Towards the end of the 1980s, Kinmonth returned to painting. His canvasses were exhibited by Richard Demarco Gallery at the International Contemporary Art Fair at Olympia and were used by Jasper Conran as scenic backdrops to complement his costume designs for David Bintley's one-act ballet Tombeaux for The Royal Ballet (1993).

Stage Designs[edit]

Kinmonth began working with Robert Carsen in 1993. They first met in the mid-1980s during Carsen's time as a student actor at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Carsen, recognised as a rising star of opera direction, invited Kinmonth to design sets and costumes for his new production of Janáček's Kát'a Kabanová for the Canadian Opera Company. Their collaboration evolved over the next decade to deliver critically acclaimed stagings of, among others, Handel's Semele (co-produced by Vlaamse Opera and English National Opera),[15] Wagner’s Ring des Nibelungen (Cologne Opera),[16] and a notable series of operas by Janáček (Vlaamse Opera).

The Carsen-Kinmonth vision of Wagner's tetralogy, presented as a complete cycle in Cologne in 2004, became the first Ring to be staged in Shanghai, presented twice by Cologne Opera at the Shanghai Grand Theatre in September 2010.[17] It has been called the "Green Ring" to reflect the staging's attention to ecological and environmental concerns. Kát'a Kabanová, conceived for Vlaamse Opera, has travelled extensively and was chosen to introduce the work to the Teatro alla Scala in 2006. It has also reached audiences in Tokyo, Strasbourg, Cologne and Madrid. The latter staging, filmed and subsequently released on DVD, was shortlisted for a Gramophone Award in 2009.

Kinmonth's set and costume designs for Carsen's staging of La Traviata were commissioned by La Fenice for the Venetian theatre's post-fire reopening in 2004. The production was presented in Tokyo (2005) and in Beijing (2006) and has become established as the traditional season opener at La Fenice: the Carsen-Kinmonth production of La traviata was revived at the beginning of 2007/08, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons.

In 2000, Kinmonth worked for the first time with the director Pierre Audi. Their production of Handel's Tamerlano for the Slottsteater, Drottningholm was tailored to suit the unique atmosphere and intimacy of Sweden's eighteenth-century theatre. Baroque repertoire has occupied the centre ground of Kinmonth's collaborations with Audi. They presented Handel's Alcina (2003) and Rameau's Zoroastre (2005) at Drottningholm in productions which, together with Tamerlano, have since been revived at De Nederlandse Opera. Kinmonth joined forces with fellow designers Chloe Obolensky and Jannis Kounellis in 2007 to work with Pierre Audi for De Nederlandse Opera's 'Monteverdi Evening', comprising Lamento d'Arianna, Il ballo della ingrate and Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda. Audi and Kinmonth created a production of Handel's Partenope for Theater an der Wien in 2009 and in 2011 staged Vivaldi's Orlando furioso at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris as well as in Nice and Nancy.

Kinmonth's innate understanding and experience of creative partnerships have underpinned recent collaborations with the Flemish opera director Guy Joosten (Richard Strauss's Elektra, co-produced by Gran Teatre del Liceu and La Monnaie) and Brazilian dancer and choreographer Fernando Melo. He has designed sets and costumes for three of Melo's original dance works: A Guest House, created for and first staged by Göteborgsoperans Danskompani (2010); Fountain, a 20-minute dance theatre work produced at the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz (2011), and Tending to Fall, also conceived for GöteborgsOperans (2012).

Opera Direction[edit]

Whilst Intendant of Cologne Opera, Christoph Dammann invited Kinmonth to make his directorial debut with Puccini's Madama Butterfly for the German company's 2008/09 season. Kinmonth designed the production's sets and costumes (in collaboration with Darko Petrovic).

Kinmonth's production of Saint-Saëns's Samson et Dalila, created for the Deutsche Oper Berlin, opened in May 2011. He returned to the staging the following year, making revisions and overseeing its revival at the Grand Théâtre de Genève in November 2012. His new production of Don Giovanni ran from September 2012 to January 2013 at Theater Augsburg. The production was described as "a pleasure for the senses and the intellect" (Donau Kurier) and as "living, exciting musical theatre" (Süddeutsche Zeitung).[18]

Kinmonth was engaged by Cologne Opera to direct and design Franz Schreker's rarely staged Die Gezeichneten. The production combined ideas inspired by film noir and Scandinavian detective series with artworks and visual imagery from the time of Rubens,[19] and opened to critical acclaim on 20 April 2013 in Palladium Köln.[20] In a survey by critics in North Rhine Westphalia, Die Gezeichneten was nominated by both Ulrike Gondorf (WDR/DLF/SWR) and Christian Wildhagen (FAZ) as 'Best Production' of the 2012/13 season.[21]

Selected productions[edit]

As director and designer[edit]

As designer – sets and costumes (unless otherwise specified)[edit]

Exhibitions and creative direction[edit]

Alongside his work for the stage, Kinmonth has achieved success as a creative director and exhibition curator. He first served as creative consultant to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2004, designing its exhibition Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the 18th Century.[22][23] Jayne Wrightsman, trustee of the museum's Wrightsman Galleries, was impressed by Kinmonth's work for Dangerous Liaisons and recommended that he should serve as consultant to the renovation and reinstallation of the galleries.[24][25] The refurbished Wrightsman Galleries reopened on 30 October 2007.

Kinmonth-Monfreda Design Projects, founded in London in 2004, launched Kinmonth's collaboration with Italian art director Antonio Monfreda. They were employed as creative consultants to the exhibition AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion, presented at the Metropolitan Museum of Art New York in 2006. Their exhibition Valentino a Roma: 45 Years of Style, created for the recently opened Museo dell’Ara Pacis, offered a major retrospective of Valentino Garavani's work. The presentation, commissioned by Giancarlo Giammetti, included over 350 costumes and design sketches, photographs and personal memorabilia from Valentino's personal archives.[26][27]

Kinmonth and Monfreda went on to conceive and design the exhibition Valentino: Themes and Variations for the Musée des Arts Décoratifs at the Palais du Louvre (2008) and Valentino: Master of Couture, specially designed for Somerset House to celebrate Valentino's 80th birthday year and the 50th anniversary of his couture label (2012).[28][29] Their exhibition Making Dreams: Fendi and the Cinema opened at Cinema Manzoni, Milan in September 2013, and included their elegiac film homage Amphitheatre24 to Cinecittà directed by Kinmonth and Monfreda.[30][31] This marked the first project by their company The Visual Clinic.

Kinmonth curated and designed Diana: Princess of Wales, an exhibition of iconic images and previously unseen photographs by Mario Testino created in 2005 for Kensington Palace. He has also worked as curator and designer for Testino's Todo o Nada (Thyssen Bornemisza, 2010; Palazzo Ruspoli, Rome, 2011; MATE Centre, Lima, 2012); In Your Face and British Royal Portraits (Boston Museum of Fine Arts, 2012–13), and Private View (Beijing Today Art Museum, 2012 and Shanghai Art Museum, 2012). British Royal Portraits is exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery (2012–13) and collaborated with Testino on his books: Portraits, Any Objections, Let Me In, Todo o Nada.

An exhibition of Kinmonth’s artwork ET IN ARCADIA EGO opened at Maestro Arts Gallery in London on 27 November 2013.[32]

Architectural and interior design[edit]

Kinmonth-Monfreda Design Project designed the first Missoni Boutique in Los Angeles which opened in March 2010.[33] They also delivered the architectural design for the virtual design of the pioneering 3-D architectural design of the Valentino Garavani Virtual Museum, launched online in December 2011.


  • Prix d'Italia 2006 for Best Opera Production, Kát'a Kabanová (Teatro alla Scala)
  • Voted Wall Street Journal Magazine 2012 Innovator of the Year Award: Design
  • Prix des critiques francophone for Elektra at La Monnaie, Brussels
  • Prix d’Italia several times with Robert Carsen
  • Die Gezeichneten voted best opera production of 2013 by Frankfurter Allgemeine/ wdr/ Süddeutsche Zeitung


  • Mr Potter’s Pigeon
  • Journalism consisting writing for Vogue America, Vogue Italia, Vogue UK (1980–2013) as well as journals including Vanity Fair, Auditorium
  • Introduction to Mario Testino, Any Objections? (Phaidon, 2004)
  • Tessa Traeger A Gardener's Labyrinth: Portraits of People, Plants and Places
  • Foreword to Allegra Hicks, An Eye for Design (New York: Abrams, 2010)
  • Patrick Kinmonth, Anthony Fry: Paintings and Works on Paper, 2000–2011 (New York: Umbrage Editions, 2011)


  • La traviata at La Fenice, Zoroastre at Drottningholm,
  • Semele (dir. Carsen; design Kinmonth; TV dir. Felix Breisach), Zurich Opera (2007), Decca DVD 0743326
  • Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda (dir. Audi; costume and set design Kinmonth, Obolensky & Kounellis; TV), Opus Arte DVD OA0972BD
  • Kát'a Kabanová (dir. Carsen; design Kinmonth) Teatro Real, Madrid (2010), FRAProd FRA003


  1. ^ Cannatà, Teresa (31 March 2010), "Writer, art editor, set and costume designer, painter, opera director. Patrick Kinmonth is a rare and modern example of Renaissance man, who puts his creativity in service of art" []. Vogue Italia. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
  2. ^ Wall Street Journal Magazine (25 October 2012), online video introduction to WSJ 2012 Innovator Awards: Design [!5AAA79CA-2B0E-427D-A8B5-84A15DB6C1EF]. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
  3. ^ Blanks, Tim (25 October 2012), "The Ecstasy of Influence" [1] Wall Street Journal Magazine. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
  4. ^ Vogue Italia – Focus on Patrick Kinmonth Archived 8 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine (author: Teresa Cannatà), retrieved 4 August 2014. Original quote (in Italian): Patrick Kinmonth, è un esempio contemporaneo di uomo rinascimentale che mette la propria creatività a servizio dell'arte
  5. ^ Vogue Italia – Focus on Patrick Kinmonth Archived 12 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine (author: Teresa Cannatà), retrieved 3 December 2013
  6. ^ Anonymous (1 February 2010), “Maurice Kinmonth”. []. Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
  7. ^ Retrieved 7 December 2013
  8. ^ Wall Street Journal Magazine (25 October 2012), online video introduction to WSJ 2012 Innovator Awards: Design [!5AAA79CA-2B0E-427D-A8B5-84A15DB6C1EF]. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ Kinmonth, Patrick, "Recalling the Legacy of Beatrix Miller, Longtime Editor of British Vogue" [2]. Retrieved 4 August 2014
  12. ^ Wall Street Journal Magazine (25 October 2012), online video introduction to WSJ 2012 Innovator Awards: Design [!5AAA79CA-2B0E-427D-A8B5-84A15DB6C1EF]. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
  13. ^ National Portrait Gallery: Publications [3]. Retrieved 4 August 2014
  14. ^ Blanks, Tim (25 October 2012), "The Ecstasy of Influence" [4] Wall Street Journal Magazine. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
  15. ^ Wright, Helen (November 2004), "Semele" [online review of English National Opera's revival of Semele].; Seckerson, Edward (24 November 2004), “Semele, Coliseum, London”. Independent. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  16. ^ RING@EXPO official website page []
  17. ^ Cologne Opera EXPO2010 tour press release (undated) []
  18. ^ Digest of media reviews (October 2012), "Patrick Kinmonth – Press reviews Don Giovanni in Augsburg". []. Compiled by Maestro Arts. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
  19. ^ Press release (September 2012), "Creative Direction" []. Valerie Barber Public Relations. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
  20. ^ Press release (September 2012), "Creative Direction" []. Valerie Barber Public Relations. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
  21. ^ Welt am Sonntag nr. 30 28 Juli 2013 Archived 10 September 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ Menkes, Suzy (27 April 2004), “Voluptuous lives, ‘Dangerous Liaisons’” [5]. New York Times. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
  23. ^ Museum of Metropolitan Art website, "Dangerous Liaisons" []. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
  24. ^ Museum of Metropolitan Art website, "Newly Renovated and Reinstalled Wrightsman Galleries for French Decorative Arts To Open in Fall at Metropolitan Museum" []. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
  25. ^ Johnson, Ken (9 November 2007), "Gilding the Ancien Régime" [6]. New York Times. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
  26. ^ Museo dell'Ara Pacis website, "Valentino a Roma" []. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  27. ^ Exhibitfiles website, "Valentino a Roma, 45 Years of Style" []. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  28. ^ Somerset House website, "Valentino: Master of Couture” []. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  29. ^ Gonsalves, Rebecca (26 November 2012), "Valentino and his ladies in red: Celebrating half a century of beauty, wealth and style” []. Independent. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  30. ^ Olsen, Kerry (20 September 2013), “FENDI ON FILM: A Cinematic Exhibition at the Fendi’s Flagship Store in Milan” [7]
  31. ^ Bubble, Susie (September 2013), "FENDI: MAKING DREAMS ON FILM Fendi furs in motion at Cinema Manzoni; Susie Bubble speaks to curator Patrick Kinmonth” [8] Dazed Digital.
  32. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 December 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  33. ^

External links[edit]