VALE PAUL KATHNER OAM 1954 -2023

Paul Kathner designed and painted sets and backdrops for the most significant ballets, operas and musicals in Australia. He trained under William Constable and Elaine Haxton, assisting their work with the Borovansky Ballet. Early in his career he designed for the Independent Theatre, Elizabethan Opera Company, St Martin’s Theatre Melbourne (as resident designer), and the Melbourne Theatre Company. Design credits include: Le Carnaval (the Australian Ballet), The Pirates of Penzance and Trial by Jury (Adelaide Festival Trust), and The Yeomen of the Guard (Australian Opera). In 1976 he and Ross Turner formed Scenic Studios, where he created settings for hundreds of ballets, operas and musicals. Paul’s design work included backdrops for St Paul’s Cathedral and painting Les Sylphides (Australian Ballet).

Paul painted many of Kristian’s set designs for The Australian Ballet, including Coppelia, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Nutcracker.
He had an instinctive understanding of Kristian’s design style and the ability to be able to execute the painterly quality, along with the brilliant team at Scenic Studios.


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