Sir Peter Hall has died at the age of 86.
The legendary theater director died on Sept. 11, 2017, at the University College Hospital, London, surrounded by family. The director had not been in the public eye since 2011 when he was diagnosed with Dementia and, as a result, retired.
Although he started his career in theater and directed many acclaimed plays, he made a mark on opera and became internationally recognized for his work.
Among his most acclaimed work was Wagner’s Ring Cycle in 1983 to honor the centenary of the composer’s death under Sir Georg Solti at the Bayreuth Festival. He also directed a famous “Salome” at the Royal Opera House that starred his ex-wife Maria Ewing. Other work at the Royal Opera House included “Eugene Onegin,” “Tristan und Isolde” and “Albert Herring.”
Other collaborations with Ewing included “Carmen” at the Metropolitan Opera where he also staged “Macbeth” with Renata Scotto and Sherill Milnes. Hall also staged the world premieres of Michael Tippett’s “The Knot Garden (1970)” and “New Year (1989).”
He would also work at the Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Hall was also artistic director of the Glyndebourne Festival from 1984 to 1990 and was influential in the decision to build a larger theatre for Glyndebourne, which resulted in the creation of the new opera house nearly 25 years ago.
Per the Glyndebourne’s press release, “It was a golden era for Glyndebourne when Peter was Artistic Director. He was loved by both audiences and artists. The productions he created were timeless – as you can tell by the many occasions we have revived them. Peter’s relationship with my father, George Christie, was one characterized by deep friendship and mutual respect. His success played a key part in growing audiences to the point that it prompted my father to decide to build a bigger theatre. The result was the state-of-the-art auditorium we enjoy today, and one of our two principal rehearsal rooms in the new theatre is named after him.”
He would go on to direct 20 productions including the Da Ponte operas and Britten’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” which is considered the highlight of his career.
He is survived by his six children, which include Hollywood actress Rebecca Hall.