KENTAUR /Laszlo Erkel/
Set and costume designer, Painter, Musician
He studied painting at the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts at the Faculty of Painting and had master class at the Faculty of Mural painting. Since the end of the 80’s his paintings regularly appear on solo and group exhibitions. As a multimedia artist, Kentaur had interest on different fields of art from his early ages. As a he was born in a family, which ancestor was the famous composer, Ferenc Erkel, who established the national opera in Hungary, he has studied classical music for 9 years. Parallel to his fine art studies, he became the solo singer and songwriter of a new wave music group and later – as a solo singer – he recorded several rock albums in 1989 (New World), 1996 (Someone from the Lost City) and 2005 (Urban Stigma). In his concerts he created a stage production, in which theatre, choreography, multimedia and creative art had parallel role with music. His concerts and video clips were designed and directed by himself. He started his theatre career as a graphic designer, later becoming a set and costume designer. Since 1990 he worked for all major Hungarian prosaic theatres as well as for musical, opera (FAUST, TURANDOT, AIDA etc.), ballet (SNOW WHITE – Budapest, Tallinn, COPPELIA – Wiener Staatsoper, NUTCRACER – Budapest etc.), television and movie productions. He was the first stage designer in Hungary, who used interactive, live video techniques on stage. He is remarkable praised for his visual designs made for Shakespeare-performances (MACBETH, HAMLET, AS YOU LIKE IT) and musicals (PRODUCERS, JOSEPH, WEST SIDE STORY, PETER PAN, FOOTLOOSE, CHICAGO, CABARET etc.). His international theatre designer career has begun in 1995 when the famous British producer, CAMERON MACKINTOSH appointed him to redesign his world success musical productions: MISS SAIGON, PHANTOM of the OPERA, OLIVER and MARTIN GUERRE. Since than he has worked all over Europe and overseas as well (Great Britain, Austria, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Romania, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Belgium, Australia, Japan, Philippines, USA / New York, Russia / Petersburg and Rostov.) He debuted on the LONDON WEST END with RENT in 2002 in Prince of Wales Theatre. He is the permanent set designer of the Hungarian non-replica productions of ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER’s and CLAUDE MICHEL SCHÖNBERG’s musicals. He was the first set designer on the world, which was appointed to redesign PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (2003) and THE BEAUTIFUL GAME (2005) for their Budapest productions. In 2006, as the set and costume designer of ROMAN POLANSKI’s TANZ DER VAMPIRE in Budapest, – Wien- Antwerp & and Petersburg, (he created a new magical realistic, picturesque visual design for that cult musical.
Several theatre awards acknowledged his stage visions. In 2007 he was granted a Jászai Price and in 2013 Honourable Artist prize from the Hungarian State for his oeuvre in theatre art.