John Bury, 75, Designer
British scenic and lighting designer John Bury died of pneumonia brought on by heart disease on Sun., Nov. 12 in Gloucestershire, England, reported The New York Times. He was 75.
The lighting and set designs that brought Bury his greatest acclaim were those he created for the 1980-'81 Broadway production of "Amadeus," for which he won two Tony Awards in 1981. The show came to Broadway after its success at the Royal National Theatre, where it ran from 1973-1985. The recent Broadway revival was not designed by Bury.
According to his 1981 Playbill biography, Bury started his career in 1946 with Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop in England, where he designed 30 productions, including "A Taste of Honey," Brendan Behan's "The Quare Fellow," and Lionel Bart's "Fings Ain't Wot They Used T' Be." He went on to collaborate with director Peter Hall for many years, first at the Royal Shakespeare Company from 1962-'68 and later at the Royal National Theatre, where Bury was head of design. It was with Hall at the helm that Bury designed "Amadeus."
Bury designed for operas around the world in the 1980s, including the San Francisco Opera, Glyndebourne Opera, Royal Opera House, and Washington Opera. Over the years, his work could also be seen in NY productions of "The Physicists," "Hedda Gabler," "A Doll's House," and "No Man's Land," among many others.