Michael J. Whitfield has an extensive background in lighting design for theatre, ballet and opera.
A native of Victoria, B.C., Whitfield received his training in theatre at the University of Victoria, Villanova University and the University of Illinois. In 1974, he began a long association with the Stratford Festival, where he was for many years the Resident Lighting Designer and was responsible for the lighting design of a great variety of plays and musicals, including The Mikado, Amadeus and King Lear. He has worked extensively in Canadian regional theatre and his work is often seen at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre.
Whitfield is also much in demand as a lighting designer for opera and his designs have been featured at the San Francisco Opera, San Diego Opera Company, Houston Grand Opera, the Minnesota Opera, the Dallas Opera, the Welsh National Opera and for Canadian companies in Toronto, Montréal, Ottawa, Hamilton, Edmonton, Calgary, Banff and Vancouver. His lighting has been featured at the Canadian Opera Company for over 30 years, where designs included Wozzeck and Madama Butterfly.
In the world of ballet, Brian Whitfield’s work has been represented by Alice and The Nutcracker at the National Ballet of Canada, The Merry Widow for the American Ballet Theatre and Romeo & Juliet at the Finnish National Ballet.
For Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, his lighting design has also been seen in The Sleeping Beauty and Anne of Green Gables.