Starting in the early 1980s, he designed sets for operas and ballets, some of which were widely used by regional opera companies. His version of Mozart's The Magic Flute for the Houston Grand Opera (1980) was rented out to smaller companies so frequently that the backdrops needed to be painstakingly restored when Houston revived it in 2004. The company also hired Sendak to design sets and costumes for Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel (1997).
Sendak’s work was featured several times at New York City Opera, most notably his 1981 staging of Janáček's The Cunning Little Vixen (see slideshow below). The work featured a fantasy world with talking animals not so unlike the goblins and ghouls of his books. The New York Times opined: “Mr. Sendak, in his City Opera debut, has designed a captivating menagerie, sometimes tilting too far in the direction of Disneyland, but on the whole capturing and holding a dusky woodlands mood.”
Other Sendak opera productions included Mozart's Idomeneo for the LA Opera, Prokofiev'....
More about Sendak opera