Based in Paris, Jean Rabasse has worked in art direction for the cinema and stage design for dance, opera, and the circus.
For many years he was the regular stage designer for Philippe Decouflé, and together with Guy Claude Francois he conceived the set for the opening ceremony of the 1992 Winter Olympic Games in Albertville.
He won a César for best design in 1996 for the film City of Lost Children, by Marc Caro and JP Jeunet.
He was nominated for an Oscar® for best Art Direction for the film Vatel, for which he also won a César in 2001.
His filmography includes Vidocq by Jean-Christophe Comar, Asterix (nominated for a César), directed by Claude Zidi, The Dreamers, directed by Bernardo Bertolucci, Delicatessen, directed by Caro and Jeunet (César for best design), The Statement directed by Norman Jewison, Faubourg 36, directed by Christophe Barratier (nominated for a César for best design), Oceans by Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud, and, more recently, Me and You, also by Bertolucci.
Rabasse also designed the set for three Cirque du Soleil productions: Corteo by Daniele Finzi Pasca, for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Art Direction, The Beatles’ Love directed by Dominic Champagne, a show based in Las Vegas for which he designed both the set and the theater itself, and lastly, Iris, directed by Philippe Découflé, at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles.
His first stage design for the opera came with Love from Afar, directed by Finzi Pasca in 2009 for the English National Opera, restaged subsequently in Antwerp, Ghent, and Toronto in 2012. This was followed by Aïda for the Mariinsky Theater in St Petersburg in 2011, also staged by Finzi.
More recently he designed the set of the DCA Company show Contact (2014).