Graduated from Leningrad Institute of Theatre, Music and Cinema (prof. I. G. Sigal). Designed more than 250 opera and ballet productions. In 1977 made his debut with Giselle (Mariinsky Theatre). At Mariinsky Theatre designed operas Love for Three Oranges, Mavra, Kashchey the Immortal, Il Campanillo, May Queen. Le nozze de Figaro, ballets La Sylphide, Petrushka, Svadebka, Coppelia, Anna Karenina (music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky), Inspector (music by Alexander Tchaikovsky) etc. At the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia: La Sylphide, Russian Hamlet. At the Bolshoi Theatre of Byelorussia: The Magic Flute, Katerina Izmailova, Tosca, Fire-bird, Le Sacre du printemps, Rogneda, (music by Mdivani), Undine (music by Henze), Don Quichotte. At the Boris Eifman Ballet Thetare: Tchaikovsky, Karamazovy Brothers, Red Giselle, Russian Hamlet, Don Juan by Moliere. At present, Okunev is the chief designer of Musorgsky Opera and Ballet Theatre (St. Petersburg), where he designed Tsar Saltan, Carmen, Otello, La Traviata, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Nutcracker, Don Quichotte. Among the productions of classical Russian operas: War and Peace, Fiery Angel (Perm), Tsar's Bride (Kiev), Boris Godunov (Odessa), Evgeny Onegin (St. Petersburg Opera), Ruslan and Ludmila (Tchelyabinsk). At Mariinsky Theatre Vyacheslav Okunev reconstructed historical sets for Khovanshchina (by Fedorovsky), Petrushka (by Benois), Coppelia (after artists of the nineteenth century), Sadko (by Korovin), Prince Igor (by Konstantinovsky), Mazepa (by Shlepyanov) and in Kazan Opera Theatre for Carmen (by Golovin).
Among the last works: Cleopatra by Massenet (Perm), Cherevichki (Cagliari, Italy), Don Giovanni (Verona), Giselle, Swan Lake, Don Quichotte (Tokyo), Petrushka (Glasgow), Karamazovy Brothers (Essen), Giselle (Seoul).