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Stravinsky opera set designs to be exhibited in London

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2018-04-26

A collection of drawings by set designer Alexander Golovin for Igor Stravinsky’s opera Le Rossignol (The Nightingale) will be exhibited at Bonhams London.
Titled “Music, Magic and Flight: Alexander Golovin’s Designs for the Lost Production of Igor Stravinsky’s ‘Le Rossignol’”, the show will run from May 24-June 6.

This elaborate production of Stravinsky’s 1914 opera opened on May 30, 1918 at the Mariinsky Theatre in Petrograd. It was only performed once.

At the time Russia was in the midst of the Bolshevik revolution. The Romanov Tsars were imprisoned to the south of the city and would be executed in the summer. This production was a final expression of the old Russia, before the austerity of the communist years rolled over the nation.

These exquisite drawings were smuggled out of the country some years later by a Russian doctor and have since found their way to the US.

Stravinsky's La Rossignol was first performed in 1914 (Image: Bonhams) /></p>
<p>Yelena Harbick, international director of Bonhams’ Russia department, said: “This exhibition is a rare opportunity to see these extraordinary and beautiful works.</p>
<p>“They provide a fascinating visual narrative of the final vestiges of the opulence and elegance of the late Imperial Theatre and reveal the brilliant creativity of the Russian Theatre that flourished during the most explosive and transformative years of the early 20th century.”</p>
<p>La Rossignol is an adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s eerie tale of a Chinese emperor whose life is saved by a nightingale’s song. The designs reflect the story’s Asiatic origins and feature a whole host of costumes and set pieces.</p>
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