Camellia Koo

Camellia Koo, Set and Costume Designer

Pacific Opera Victoria
Set and Costume Designer for Simon Boccanegra

October, 2016

Camellia is a Toronto based set & costume designer and installation artist, who made her Pacific Opera debut as designer for POV's April 2012 company première of Maria Stuarda, a production that was staged by Edmonton Opera in April, 2016. Camellia returns as designer for POV's 2016 production of Verdi's Simon Boccanegra

Her designs for opera include Pelléas et Mélisande for Against the Grain Teatre; The Tales of Hoffmann for Edmonton Opera; Marilyn Forever (Aventa Ensemble); The Lighthouse for Boston Lyric Opera; Dido and Aeneas directed by Tim Albery (Opera on the Avalon) and La Bohè directed by Joel Ivany; Giiwedin (Native Earth), and The Shadow (Tapestry New Opera). She is also a regular Assistant Designer to Michael Levine, as well as his Associate Designer on revivals of The Magic Flute (Budapest State Opera, directed by Laszlo Marton) and Candide, directed by Robert Carsen (ENO/Hyogo Performing Arts).

Other recent credits include The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God (Shaw Festival); Wormwood (Tarragon); The 20th of November (Buddies in Bad Times); Grey Gardens (Acting Up Stage Company).

Her theatre work includes collaborations with many independent to mid-sized theatre companies including fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre Company, Cahoots Theatre Projects, Modern Times Theatre, Native Earth Performing Arts, Nightwood, bCurrent, Theatre Direct, Carlos Bulosan Theatre, Fujiwara Dance Inventions, Great Canadian Theatre Company, Tarragon Theatre, Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People, The Second City (Toronto and Chicago), Soulpepper Theatre Company and The Shaw Festival.

Camellia is a recipient of six Dora Awards, a Sterling Award, and the 2006 Siminovitch Protégé Prize. She is also a recipient of a Chalmers Award Grant to shadow Michael Levine on A Dog's Heart, directed by Simon McBurney at De Nederlandse Opera in 2010. Most recently, she was part of the team led by director Joel Ivany which received the Third Prize award in the 6th European Opera-directing Prize.

She is a graduate of Ryerson Theatre School (technical production), and completed her M.A. in Scenography at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design (UK) and the Hogeschool de Kunst (Utrecht, The Netherlands).


Camellia Koo's costume and set design delight, as well. The conservative set, formal and linear, disappears to a vanishing point in the unseen distance. Doorways upstage left and right provide chances for supporting cast members to peek and spy, heightening the atmosphere of surveillance prevalent in Elizabeth's time. In Act II, Maria pushes open hidden windows, letting in shafts of light, underscoring her yearning for a lost childhood in France. These same Tudor frames transform into a gaol cell by the third Act. Once again, brilliant stagecraft supports transcendent performances.
Brent Schaus, Monday Magazine, Review of Pacific Opera Victoria's Maria Stuarda, 2012

The minimalist nature of the show in combination with the set that keeps on giving, allows for a smooth transition through time. And a huge shout out to Camellia Koo for constructing possibly the coolest set I have ever seen.
Keely Kwok, Charlebois Post, Review of The Wanderers, Cahoots Theatre Company, 2014


September, 2016