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Franco Zeffirelli and Others Receive Irene Sharaff Awards

The legendary designer and director Franco Zeffirelli will receive the TDF/Irene Sharaff Award's special honor, the Robert L. B. Tobin Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theatrical Design, at a ceremony on Friday, April 7 at the Hudson Theatre in New York City.

Zeffirelli's career as an internationally-renowned scenic designer, costume designer and director has spanned half a century. He won a special Tony Award in 1962 for his design and direction of the Old Vic's Romeo and Juliet. He directed the acclaimed 1968 film version of the same Shakespeare play (as well as 1967's The Taming of the Shrew with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor), while his many other directorial and/or design credits include Falstaff, La Traviata, La Boheme, Turando, Don Giovanni and Carmen. A number of his operatic productions have been preserved on film.

"Throughout her long and distinguished career, elegance and an attention to detail were the trademarks of costume designer Irene Sharaff. Miss Sharaff was revered as a designer of enormous depth and intelligence, equally secure with both contemporary and period costumes. Her work exemplified the best of costume design. Such excellence is demonstrated by the winners of the 2006 TDF/Irene Sharaff Awards, who were selected by the TDF Costume Collection's Advisory Committee. The TDF/Irene Sharaff Awards are presented through Theatre Development Fund's Costume Collection," according to press notes.

In addition to Zeffirelli's Robert L.B. Tobin Award for Lifetime Achievement, costume and set designer Lester Polakov will be presented with the TDF/Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award; costume designer Emilio Sosa will receive the TDF/Irene Sharaff Young Master Award; famed theatre craftsman Martin Izquierdo will receive the TDF/Irene Sharaff Artisan Award; and Lila de Nobili,, the famed designer and director, will be named the winner of the TDF/Irene Sharaff Posthumous Award.

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