Dunya Ramicova's costume designs have enchanted audiences for decades, but some of her biggest fans now sit in UC Merced classrooms.
Ramicova, the university's first arts professor and one of its founding faculty members, also is an acclaimed costume designer. Last year, she worked on four projects that included the Metropolitan Opera production of "Nixon in China" and the Santa Fe Opera's "Griselda."
But home base is UC Merced, where the Emmy-winning designer draws on a wealth of experience to teach students about art, fashion and the relationship between clothing and history, politics, culture and more.
"Our students are something special," Ramicova said. "It is such a privilege to teach them."
A native of the former Czechoslovakia, Ramicova immigrated to the U.S. in 1968 and studied at the Goodman School of Drama and the Yale School of Drama. She taught costume design at the Yale School of Drama, Harvard University, UC Santa Barbara and UCLA before moving to UC Merced in 2004.
Ramicova has developed an international reputation by designing costumes for about 150 productions, including theater, opera, ballet, dance, film and television in the United States and Europe.
One frequent collaborator is Peter Sellars, the director of "Nixon in China." The two worked on the original production in 1987 and others through the years before again joining together at the Met.
Ramicova said costumes for the opera — based on President Nixon's visit to China in the 1970s — are designed by history. She studied film and photographs to help capture the styles.
4 years ago