Born in Zimbabwe, Richard Hudson trained at the Wimbledon School of Art. He has designed operas for Glyndebourne, Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, English National Opera, Scottish Opera, Kent Opera, Opera North, the Wiener Staatsoper, Munich, Chicago, Copenhagen, Athens, Bregenz, Amsterdam, Zurich, Barcelona, Madrid, Brussels, Houston and Washington. He has also designed for the Aldeburgh Festival, the Royal Ballet, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, the Royal Court Theatre, the Almeida and the 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 and Goldberg Variations (the Royal Ballet, Covent Garden), Rigoletto (the Wiener Volksoper), Armida (the Metropolitan Opera, New York) and Tamerlano (the Royal Opera, Covent Garden). Future projects include The Nutcracker (American Ballet Theatre) and Romeo and Juliet (the National Ballet of Canada).