Julia Trevelyan Oman

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JULIA Trevelyan Oman, one of Britain’s leading theatre and opera designers, whose sumptuous sets enhanced productions of La Boheme, Swan Lake and The Importance of Being Earnest, has died at the age of 73.

Born in London, Trevelyan Oman studied at the Royal College of Art under Hugh Casson.

She joined the BBC in 1995 and remained there for 12 years, creating sets for shows, including the police series Dixon of Dock Green and the Billy Cotton Band Show.

While designing Tony Richardson’s film The Charge of the Light Brigade, she received a call from the choreographer Frederick Ashton about drawings she had done to interpret Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations for ballet.

The 1968 production, choreographed by Ashton, was a major success, and Trevelyan Oman’s career took off. Her sets and costumes were known for their sumptuousness and attention to detail.

She married Sir Roy Strong, the writer and former director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, in 1971.

The Strongs developed a beautiful formal garden at The Lasket, their Herefordshire house; Strong once described it as "a portrait of a marriage, the family we never had or wanted, a unique landscape peopled with the ghosts of nearly everyone we have loved, both living and dead."

Trevelyan Oman was made a CBE in 1986.

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