Chenault Spence Biography

CHENAULT SPENCE -  Lighting Design
Chenault Spence is renowned throughout the world as lighting designer for ballet, opera and theatre, including the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, with which he has been associated as a lighting designer for forty years and The Philadelphia Opera.
With The Alvin America Dance Theatre he designed the ballets of Mr. Ailey and distinguished guest choreographers and has recreated the lighting for many of these productions for other companies throughout the world.
As Lighting designer for The Opera Company of Philadelphia, Mr. Spence received Emmy awards for The Damnation of Faust  and Un Ballo in Maschera with Luciano Pavarotti.  His work with the company has been seen on the company’s tour of La Boheme, also with Maestro Pavarotti, which was performed and televised in the United States, Italy and China.
Mr. Spence is  resident lighting designer for:  The Ice Theatre of New York, New York Baroque Dance Company, Saeko Ichinohe Dance Company and  The Long Leaf Opera Company He has been designer for Lyon Opera Ballet, Dance Theater of Harlem,  American Repertory Ballet, Juilliard Dance Ensemble, Erick Hawkins, Jose Limon, Bat-Dor Dance Company of Israel and The National Ballet of Iran.
 He has also served as the resident designer for Anchorage Alaska Opera and as guest designer for the Tetro Colon, Buenos Aires, Long Leaf Opera and Juilliard Opera Theatre.  He designed the scenery and lighting for the world premiere in New York of No Easy Walk to Freedom (an opera based on the life of Nelson Mandela) and lighting for Blackwater  (a multimedia opera production) at The Riverside Church in New York City.
He has designed by invitation for New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theater, Houston Ballet, Colorado Ballet, Memphis Ballet, Louisville Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Royal Danish Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Rome Opera Ballet, Vienna Opera Ballet, London Festival Ballet, La Scala Opera Ballet, National Ballet of Finland, National Ballet of Portugal, Lodz (Poland), ATER (Italy) Ballet, Hong Kong Dance Company. Dancers and Singers of Bali and for The New York City Center Anniversary Gala as well as Matsuyama Ballet, The Sydney Dance Company, Maggie Marin and Zarzuela de Madrid at the City Center.
His theater designs include: the recent New York production of Roller Derby The Musical, If That Hat Could Talk, several seasons as resident designer for The Theatre of The Riverside Church, Only Heaven (off Broadway) Porgy and Bess (Charleston), Africa Oye (New York and world tour), Tango-Tango (Argentina and Japan), The American Dance Machine, (London), Carmen Jones and Sophisticated Ladies (Europe) as well as seasons of summer theatre, and cabaret.
He attended the University of North Carolina and was a member of the renowned Carolina Playmakers.