Michael McCarthy

Music Theatre Wales, Contemporary Opera Scenes


Working with Brad was a pleasure. He did good research into the scenes and good preparation for our first meeting, at very short notice given the lateness of selection. He was always flexible and collaborative, and I felt that we had a proper creative dialogue and process which resulted in something that worked visually and dramatically – quite a challenge given the diversity of the scenes and the lack of a theme. In fact the design was the one thing that could give us a “theme” and I was impressed with the way that Brad dealt with the dual challenge of making each scene work but creating a world which would contain them all. He was quick to respond to my input but didn’t simply do what I suggested. He has his own mind and at times I think he could be a bit more assertive whilst maintaining his natural ease of collaboration. One example of this ability was his costume design, where I was perhaps less clear and he had greater freedom to explore his own ideas. I enjoyed the way his ideas developed and the results were striking and effective, especially given the budget constraints. At times I felt that I would have valued his presence in the rehearsal room more often, just to watch what was happening and be sure that what he had in his head was what was happening in the room, but I know he was also very busy with other projects and in the end we didn’t experience any difficulties once we got on stage with the designs. As for budget, I think he achieved near miracles. He clearly knows how to bring people on board and how to stretch limited resources, and he is ambitious too! We ended up with a proper show, something that wasn’t guaranteed at the start of the project and I would like to thank Brad for making such a significant contribution to its success.