Volume 75, Number 43 | March 15 -21 2006


Jean Warfield, 71, designed and wrote ballad operas

Jean Warfield, a scenic artist-designer and writer of ballad operas, died Feb. 15 at Cabrini Hospice after a lengthy battle against cancer. A longtime resident of Morton St., she was born April 15, 1934, in Chicago.

As a visual artist in the theater, Warfield specialized in opera and ballet, although she did some work in TV and film.

She was on the staff of several major opera houses, including in Vienna and at Indiana University.

While at the Hamburg Staatsoper, Warfield did the scenario, set and costumes for “Pinocchio,” a full-length, 11-scene original ballet with music by Antonio Bibalo. When her various sets and costumes were exhibited at The Theatre at Riverside Church, critic Annette Kronstadt heralded Warfield’s “fluency in different styles [and] artistic span,” commenting that some images were “reminiscent of Chagall.”

As a writer for the theater, she used a ballad-opera form for several works. Her New York performance sites included Amato Opera, The Duplex and Dixon Place. “Christina, Queen of Sweden,” a part of her Ph.D. dissertation, was performed at New York University.

Warfield was known for her cheerfulness and sense of the comic.

Jean Warfield is survived by a twin sister in Indiana, a sister in California, nieces and nephews of a couple of generations and a number of cousins.

This obituary also appears in The Morton Street News

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