Beginning April 30, visitors to the Marilyn Horne Museum and Exhibit Center will have an opportunity to learn about the art of stage costumes. After months of planning and preparation, the museum is presenting what it hopes will be the first of many temporary displays on loan from Sarasota Opera.
The Sarasota Opera Association, Inc. is one of the nation’s premiere arts organizations. In addition to producing an annual program of award-winning operatic performances, Sarasota Opera holds one of the largest costume collections in the world. The organization recently acquired more than 30,000 costumes created by Toronto-based Malabar, Ltd. For decades, Malabar created costumes worn by opera superstars such as Marilyn Horne, Luciano Pavarotti, Beverly Sills, and many others. The Sarasota Opera costume collection is not a museum archive, however. The costumes are still in use today and can be rented for productions around the country.
Sarasota Opera General Director Richard Russell commented, “We are proud to be the custodians of this collection of costumes that have been worn by some of the greatest opera stars, including the incomparable Marilyn Horne. We are especially happy that they continue to be used by the next generation of great singers.”
Included in the current exhibit are costumes created for the operas “Alzira,” “Turandot,” and “Tancredi.” Two of the costumes were created by Howard Tsvi Kaplan who created costumes for more than 100 productions spanning 25 seasons for Sarasota Opera. Two additional costumes were designed by the late Michael Stennett, an internationally-acclaimed British artist and costume designer who worked in both the opera scene and in Hollywood.
The costume exhibits at the museum have been made possible by the generous support of Carol and Larry Killian. The Killians are among an inaugural group of donors to the Marilyn Horne Museum and the costume alcoves have been named in their honor. They continue to support the museum’s mission and take a keen interest in all of the museum’s programs.
Museum director Matthew D. Hileman said, “This project would not have been possible without Carol and Larry’s support. I have not only enjoyed getting to know them over the past six years, but their excitement is infectious and inspires us to always be thinking about what we can do next. They have helped keep the museum fresh and dynamic.”
The current costume display will be on view until July 9, 2023.
Mark Kellogg Quintet Concert
On Saturday, February 4, the Marilyn Horne Museum and Exhibit Center will present a free performance by the Mark Kellogg Jazz Quintet in the Harriett B. Wick Chapel on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.
The group features Mark Kellogg on trombone and euphonium, vocalist Amy Azzara, Christopher Azzara on piano, Kyle Vock on bass, and Eric Schmitz on drums. Music includes songs by Duke Ellington, Brooks Bowman, Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer, Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart, and other American greats. The program will also include original music written and composed by members of the ensemble.
This performance is free and open to everyone. Seating is open. Reservations are not required. Doors open at 6:30 and the performance will begin at 7:00 p.m.
The Marilyn Horne Museum and Exhibit Center will present a free screening of the Academy Award-winning film “Topsy-Turvy” on Friday, January 20. Directed by Mike Leigh, “Topsy-Turvy” is a lavish feast of costumes, music, and set design. Taking place in London in the 1880s, the story follows the creation and production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Mikado,” the most internationally successful production ever created by the famous duo. The film stars Jim Broadbent, Allan Corduner, Lesley Manville, and Timothy Spall.
Arthur Sullivan and William S. Gilbert collaborated on fourteen comic operatic productions during their career. Their operas were known for veiled political and social critiques. Parody and absurdism were stapes of Gilbert’s plots, and Sullivan was known for his melodies that could be both humorous and touching. Gilbert and Sullivan worked almost exclusively with producer Richard D’Oyly Carte. Carte built London’s famous Savoy Theater and founded the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company which performed Gilbert and Sullivan’s operas for over a century.
“The Mikado” originally opened in London on March 14, 1885 and was an immediate success running for 672 performances. Originally falling into the category of “operetta” or light opera, the production would go on to become part of mainstream opera repertoire. Its popularity in England and America has been due in large part to the lyrics being performed in English, making it more accessible to broader audiences. “The Mikado” is a fictional story of a small town in Japan that is thrown into chaos with the arrival of an itinerant stranger who is sentenced to death for flirting but turns out to be the son of the Mikado, the Emperor of Japan.
On its surface, “Topsy-Turvy” is a witty, sometimes comical Victorian costume drama. But the film also delves into the social, sexual, and political attitudes of the Victorian era. Scenes are at times bawdy and the script includes cultural references that some may find offensive. The story of “The Mikado” itself raises questions about cultural stereotypes in the West. Overall, the film is not only an exploration and celebration of life in the theater but a detailed look into themes that provoke thought and discussion.
“Topsy-Turvy” was nominated for four Academy Awards and won Oscars for best costume design and best make-up. It is a beautiful film to watch, and the inclusion of many songs from various Gilbert and Sullivan productions makes it almost an operetta in itself. Museum director Matthew Hileman said, “Film is one of the most powerful tools for introducing people to new art forms and new ideas. For people who have already seen Topsy-Turvy, this event will be a treat to see it again on a big screen. More importantly, this is an opportunity to introduce the film to new audiences as it has now been nearly 25 years since it first premiered.”
The screening will take place on January 20 at 7 p.m. in the Bromeley Family Theater in Blaisdell Hall on the campus of Pitt-Bradford. Admission is free and seating is open. No tickets or reservations are required. The run time is 2 hours 40 minutes. The film is rated R and contains scenes that include substance abuse, nudity, antiquated cultural references, and adult themes. Viewer discretion is advised. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Museum director Matthew Hileman will give a brief introduction before the film begins. This film is being presented with permission from The Criterion Collection and Janus Films.
Award-winning guitarist William Feasley returns to the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford on October 29 for a live solo guitar performance set against a backdrop of artworks by the Spanish master Francisco Goya. This haunting multimedia presentation will feature masterpieces composed for Spanish guitar along with projected images of paintings and etchings by Goya.
A gifted instrumentalist, William Feasley has won numerous awards for his artistry. He was the first recipient of the Peabody Conservatory's coveted Artist Diploma and was chosen to perform for Andres Segovia at the last master class given by the guitar virtuoso in 1986. Feasley maintains an active international touring schedule and has released four critically acclaimed discs.
Francisco Goya was born in the mid-18th-century when Spain was under Habsburg rule. After studying as an apprentice with a local artist in the city of Zaragosa he eventually came to the attention of the royal family; and received a number of royal commissions. His early work reflected the Rococo tastes of the European aristocracy, however, following the French Revolution of 1789, his paintings and etchings began to reflect the chaos and instability around him.
Goya is primarily known as a painter of the Romantic Period in art. He favored subjects that were often macabre and frightening in nature. Towards the end of his life, he created a series of paintings on the walls of his house that would become known as the "Black Paintings" for their dark and haunting subject matter.
"Echoes of Goya" will feature music from the 18th through the 21st centuries. Artworks will include some of Goya's early paintings for tapestry designs, portraits, and scenes from Los Caprichos, a famous series of etchings intended as social commentary on superstition and corruption in early 19th-century Spain.
The performance will take place in the Bromeley Family Theater in Blaisdell Hall on the Campus of Pitt-Bradford. Admission is free. Seating is open and advance reservations are not required. Pitt-Bradford encourages visitors to wear face coverings but it is not required to attend the event. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and the performance will begin at 7:30.
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