Peter Flaherty Wins 2020 Design Achievement Award

School of Theater faculty Peter Flaherty is the winner of a 2020 Design Achievement Award in Video & Projection Design for his work on the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Richard Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman (Der Fliegende Holländer).

The Design Achievement Awards, which were announced in January, recognize excellence in the fields of event production, lighting design, projection and video design in theatrical dance, musical, and opera productions. Theater, opera, and dance judging panels narrowed nominees of each award to three projects, and Live Design readers determined the winners by vote.

Flaherty’s video design for The Flying Dutchman featured virtual shadow characters, which, like the rest of the production’s video imagery, were rendered in realtime with motion graphics tool Notch. The translucent painted screen material came courtesy of scenic designer John MacFarland, allowing for “continuous interplay between painting and video.” Watch excerpts of the play above.

“Peter Flaherty’s projections mirror the largesse of Wagner’s vision, and involved a seamless blend of scenic painting and video projections,” Nancy Wozny, editor in chief at Arts and Culture Texas and a Design Achievement Awards judge on the Theatre panel, was quoted in Live Design.

Flaherty is a director and interactive artist, and currently serves as the head of Interactive Media for Performance Program at the School of Theater at CalArts. His projection-mapped AR murder mystery The Dial screened at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival as part of the New Frontier Exhibitions category. He served as co-faculty of a fall 2018 AR course, of which its students developed interactive work Islands/Seom, which exhibited at the fourth annual Slamdance DIG (Digital, Interactive and Gaming art) showcase.

See the full list of 2020 Design Achievement Award recipients here.

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