ERHARD ROM is an American scenic designer who has designed settings for nearly 200 productions across North America in a wide variety of venues. Twenty-four of the works he has designed have been operas composed after 1950. Of these, 19 were written by American composers and nine were world premieres. Several of his designs have been featured in the Prague Quadrennial International Scenographic and Architectural exhibition. Originally from Seattle, WA, he now lives with his family just outside of New York City in Maplewood, NJ, and teaches design at Montclair State University in the department of theatre and dance.
From a very early age he showed strong interests in both theatrical design and in music, which ultimately lead him to pursue first a degree in music at the University of Washington and then an M.F.A. in design at New York University. Following his graduation in 1992 he began working regularly for regional companies throughout the country. While the bulk of his work has been for opera, he has designed extensively for theater companies as well, and brings a theatrical sensibility to his operatic work that is combined with a deep understanding of the music.
His work has been seen at San Francisco Opera, Seattle Opera, Vancouver Opera, The Glimmerglass Festival, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Minnesota Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Opera Colorado, Opéra de Montréal, The Atlanta Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Opera Boston and Lyric Opera of Kansas City, among many others. His many credits include productions of Nixon in China (San Francisco Opera); Jane Eyre, The Rape of Lucretia, Carmen, Faust and La bohème (Opera Theatre of Saint Louis); Sweeney Todd, Don Pasquale, Alcina, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Così fan tutte, Ariadne auf Naxos, Don Giovanni and The Rake’s Progress (Wolf Trap Opera); Romeo and Juliet, The Merry Widow and Rusalka (Minnesota Opera); Don Giovanni, Susannah, The Tales of Hoffmann and Aida (Virginia Opera). His theatrical work has been seen in places such as Syracuse Stage, Geva Theatre Center, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Folger Shakespeare Theatre, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Merrimack Repertory Theatre and the Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, D.C. His work in these venues includes productions of Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Ghosts, The Triumph of Love, The Weir, Inherit the Wind, Death of a Salesman, 12 Angry Men, Brighton Beach Memoir, The Whipping Man and The Illusion.
He has collaborated with many of the worlds leading directors of opera, including Francesca Zambello, Nicholas Muni, Michael Cavanagh, Colin Graham, Leon Major, Lillian Groag, Rhoda Levine, James Robinson, Tomer Zvulun and Thaddeus Strassberger. His list of world premieres includes John Musto and Mark Campbell’s Volpone and The Inspector, both for Wolf Trap Opera, as well as Later the Same Evening for Maryland Opera Studio and the Manhattan School of Music. Other premieres include the 2011 Glimmerglass Festival production of A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck with music by Jeanine Tesori and libretto by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner and the 2003 premiere of Pontalba by Thea Musgrave for New Orleans Opera.
Erhard Rom’s design work was displayed in the Opera America Design Gallery, located in the Pamela J. Hoiles lobby from October 2012 through February 2013. This exhibition of his work was part of the opening of the new National Opera Center in Manhattan.