IF ALL the world was just a stage - then one man would be creatively tinkering with the lights.
Lighting designer John Rayment is set to dazzle when he illuminates the incredible outdoor stage for Opera on Sydney Harbour next month.
The Coramba farm owner has a long history in the field of creative lighting, and it will be his work contributing to Opera Australia's spectacular production of Carmen at Mrs Macquarie's Chair on Sydney Harbour, March 22 to April 12.
John said his earliest memory was of attending a pantomime with his mother as a little boy, where he was transported by the magic of the illusion of the live stage.
"One half of the brain tells you that this isn't real, but the rest is suspended and a world is created to which you readily surrender," John said.
"I've always loved that creation of an illusion."
John's love of theatre and illusion transformed him into one of the world's best known theatrical lighting designers, working on the opening and closing ceremonies for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games; the arena show Walking with Dinosaurs, the English National Ballet and practically every performing arts company in Australia.
"Lighting is just something that I've always been fascinated by," he said.
"We do it in our homes, when at night we control the lighting. We have a favourite lamp. Our rooms can be more cosy or more inviting in the dark or after hours; if we have a party or function we make a little effort in the decorations and the lighting. That's theatre - the creation of another world, an inviting space."
Opera Australia's incredible production of Carmen is the second event the company has produced outdoors - last year's La Traviata saw John working long hours through the night to fine tune his lighting ideas.
Carmen's intricate set includes fireworks, giant props delivered to the stage by crane, flamenco dancing and, of course, song, set against the backdrop of the city of Sydney.
"Sitting on top of Sydney Harbour with the city skyline as the backdrop, this is opera like you'll see in no other place in the world," Opera Australia Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini said.