The Art of Opera Costume
Costumes are an integral part of any stage production. They provide context for the story and illustrate the vision of the director. Since most operas were written in, and set in, times past, opera costumes tend to represent historical periods other than our own. That said, however, costumes are not always historically accurate and contribute to the fantasy atmosphere of many opera stories. Designers use color, pattern, and texture to tantalize the eyes, and create a sense of spectacle.
To learn more about the costumes currently on display, simply choose the costume you would like to learn more about and click the link.
September 30, 2023 - December 10, 2023
The Tale of the Golden Cockerel first appeared in print in 1835. It is a fairy tale in verse written by the Russian poet and playwright, Alexander Pushkin. In the story, an aging tsar who has spent his life warring with neighboring kingdoms enlists the help of a sorcerer to keep his kingdom secure. The sorcerer, also described as an astrologer, presents the king with a magical golden rooster that sits upon the highest spire in the land and calls out danger from enemies. The story has many Eastern influences and, like many fairy tales, includes familiar elements such as a wicked queen, magical treachery, and an ill-fated ending.
Russian composer Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov adapted Pushkin’s poem into an opera, which premiered in 1909. The costumes on display in this exhibition were designed by Howard Tsvi Kaplan for a Sarasota Opera production of The Golden Cockerel in 2015.