Steffen Aarfing studied architecture at the Danish Royal Academy of Arts and began his career as a set designer for opera and theatre in 1980. He has since worked in opera and theatre stage design, theatre architecture and film production design.
He has frequently collaborated with opera director Kasper Holten with credits including The Turn of the Screw for La Scala, Milan; La Traviata in Stockholm; Das Liebesverbot in Madrid and Buenos Aires; Don Carlo, Le Grand Macabre, Die Frau ohne Schatten and Der Ring des Nibelungen in Copenhagen; Le nozze di Figaro for Theater an der Wien; Lohengrin for Deutsche Oper Berlin; and the opera-film Juan, based on Don Giovanni. Other opera credits include Tristan und Isolde in Helsinki and Copenhagen; and Le nozze di Figaro in Mannheim.
Steffen's theatre set designs include Der Goldende Drache for Helsingborg Theatre; Fanny och Alexander in Bergen; Tartuffe in Copenhagen; The Three Musketeers and Le Misanthrope for Royal Theatre, Copenhagen; and Chekhov’s Seagull at Dramaten in Stockholm.
Steffen first worked with choreographer Cathy Marston in 2015 creating designs for the opera Król Roger, at the Royal Opera House. His most recent ballet was Dangerous Liaisons, adapted and choreographed by Cathy Marston for the Royal Danish Ballet in Copenhagen 2017.