Tony Award winner Stewart Laing (Titanic) opted for a contemporary take on Abstract Expressionism in designing the world premiere of David Sawer's new opera, From Morning to Midnight, April 27 — May 15 at the English National Opera. Set in Germany, the opera is based on Georg Kaiser's novel by the same name and follows the sad tale of a cashier who robs the bank where he works in the morning, but by the end of the day his life is over. Directed by Richard Jones, the opera is divided into seven distinct scenes and a variety of locales, including the bank. “I tried to paint as bold a picture as possible for each scene,” says Laing, who popped out to the East End of London as often as he could to check in on the ENO workshops as they built the sets out of recycled timber from older productions. “A velodrome is the centerpiece of the opera, and that is the first set they built, as it is the most difficult. It is a complicated curved form based on the large sculpted ellipses by Richard Serra,” he explains. The painted front cloth features a diamond bracelet and a watch for sale on a television shopping channel representing elusive wealth, while a digital clock races toward midnight and the opera's denouement.