Keith Cheetham

Last updated 30 January 2015

Keith Cheetham
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Keith Cheetham

Died: October 2014


Award winning producer and director in film and television. 

He began his career in television as a production designer for BBC Television, designing major comedy, drama and arts series including the 1974 Doctor Who story The Time Warrior.

He also worked on The Two Ronnies, Dave Allen at Large, Omnibus and Arena. He designed the very first colour production of Ahmal and the Night Visitors, recorded in the presence of the composer, Gian Carlo Menotti.

For television he has worked with and directed a number of foreign theatre companies including the Moscow Arts Theatre, and the Comedie-Francaise, working on Moliere, Racine, Chekhov, Synge and Plautus. On documentaries he has collaborated with international artists including Sir Michael Tippett, Sir Colin Davies, Jacqueline du Pre, Menotti, Dame Alicia Markova, and Stephen Sondheim. Music productions include Opera and Ballet workshops; a TV production of 'The Little Sweep'(Britten); a video version of Walton's 'Facade'; Voice of the City - A Musical Biography of Irving Berlin and 'Blues in the Night, adapted from the Broadway Stage for television. He has designed and directed many Multi Media events in America, Hong Kong and Europe.

He is the co-founder of 2x2 Opera a community based opera group to provide an opportunity for young people to participate in professionally produced high quality cross-educational projects.  Productions have included Carmen, The Magic Flute, Hansel and Gretel, Robinson Crusoe and Cinderella.

He later collaborated with the celebrated Welsh soprano Patricia O'Neill on 'Can You Sing', a competition to find talented young singers.  He had been the Chairman of the Adjudicators and directed the final at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff. He was also the senior Stage Director on the Can You Sing Opera course.

For the theatre, as well as 2x2 Opera, his productions include Hoppla Wir Leben (compiled and directed), Send in the Girls, White Knight, The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni In addition to co-founding Focus Opera with the conductor composer Benjamin Ellin, he developed a new opera with Benjamin and preparing a multi media scena for an orchestral performance of Stravinsky's Petrouchka.

In later years he taught as a member of staff at St Stephen's Church of England Primary School in Twickenham, the school his children went to and of which he had been PTA chair. He continued to direct a number of school productions, school videos, and also edited the school newspaper.

He leaves behind his wife Sarah and daughters Jess and Kate.

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