An anglepoise lamp cranes over a huge teak desk and I can spot at least five Eames chairs scattered around the stage.
In the background, an archive room is stacked with fraying legal documents and a huge art deco clock looms listlessly over the set, hands turning ominously.
It could only be The Makropulos Case. Leoš Janácek's penultimate opera – which opens at the Festival Theatre tomorrow in a new production by Opera North – is a gift for designers: set it even vaguely around the time and place it was written (1920s Prague) and it's bound to look stylish.
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