Obituary: Designer and Painter Michael Stennett Dies, Aged 74

By Logan Martell

Costume designer and painter Michael Stennett has passed away as of June 23, 2020.

Born in Farnborough, England, in 1946, Stennett studied painting under Nancy Piper, whose works were regularly exhibited at the Royal Academy. After completing his studies, he became assistant to designer Henry Bardon in 1968, and in the following years, he worked on costumes with The Australian Opera, The New Theater, The Royal Opera House, Malmo Ballet, and the English National Opera, among others.

Over his career, Stennett made costumes for performers such as Dames Kiri Te Kanawa, Janet Baker, and Joan Sutherland, as well as Kathleen Battle and Marilyn Horne.

Stennett retired as a costume designer in 1994, at which point he focused on painting, creating numerous works and exhibitions, many of which featured Joan Sutherland in some of her most prominent roles. Stennett was also commissioned by Queen Elizabeth II to do a portrait of Sutherland for the Order of Merit Series at Windsor Castle.

He spent his remaining years in Suffolk, working on various exhibitions and commissions.