From: New Britain, Connecticut. LA Opera: Samson et Dalila (1999, debut); Turandot (2024).
Thomas J. Munn (1944-2022) was Resident Lighting Designer for the San Francisco Opera for over 20 years. In 1975 he was invited to design the lighting for Verdi's Macbeth for the Netherlands Opera. That production brought him to the attention to Kurt Herbert Adler, who invited him to join the San Francisco Opera production team. Tom designed the lighting for 285 productions for the company as well as dozens of productions for companies around the world.
In 2003, he was appointed Professor of Theatre and Dance at UC Davis, where he co-created the MFA program in theatre design. He took great joy in working with his students, sharing with them his love of the live performing arts, and passing on the traditions of his craft. He retired as professor emeritus in 2014.
Insatiably curious and even more energetic, Tom enthusiastically embraced new technologies in the theater. He developed innovative ways to use projections and was instrumental in installing some of the earliest computerized lighting systems. When the Opera House was renovated following the 1989 earthquake, he was an integral part of the design of the new theatrical lighting system. He also served as the lighting consultant for the 2006 renovation of the historic St. Mark's Lutheran Church in San Francisco.