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Born in Zimbabwe, he trained at Wimbledon School of Art. He has designed sets and costumes for operas at Glyndebourne, Covent Garden, The Metropolitan Opera, New York, La Scala Milan, Maggio Musicale Florence, English National Opera, Scottish Opera, Kent Opera, Opera North, Wiener Staatsoper, Munich, Chicago, Copenhagen, Athens, Bregenz, Amsterdam, Zurich, Barcelona, Madrid, Brussels, Houston and Washington and Rome. He has also designed for the Aldeburgh Festival, Royal Ballet, Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre, Royal Court, Almeida and Young Vic. In 1988 he won an Olivier Award for a season of plays at the Old Vic, and for The Lion King he received a Tony Award in 1998.
He is a Royal Designer for Industry (RDI). In 2003 he won the Gold Medal for set design at the Prague Quadrenniale, and in 2005 he was given an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Surrey. Recent work includes Rushes, Goldberg Variations and Invitus Invitam (Royal Ballet, Covent Garden), Rigoletto (Wiener Volksoper), Armida (Metropolitan Opera, New York), Tamerlano (Royal Opera, Covent Garden), Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Opera di Roma), Romeo and Juliet (National Ballet of Canada), Le Coq D’or and La Bayadère (Royal Danish Ballet), Das Rheingold and Die Walküre (Teatro Massimo, Palermo) and Versailles, (Donmar Warehouse Theatre). In addition, are Hudson’s Peter Grimes at Lyon and La Traviata at Grange Park, both in 2014.
For American Ballet Theatre, Hudson has designed The Nutcracker (2010), Dumbarton (2011) and The Sleeping Beauty (2015). The Golden Cockerel, which was given its World Premiere by the Royal Danish Ballet in 2012, received its American Premiere by American Ballet Theatre in 2016.