Original costume design for Carmen in the opera of the same name by Georges Bizet, signed by the artist and dated 1931
Ca. 310 x 235 mm. Executed on laid paper in pencil and watercolour. identified in pencil as "Carmen I" at upper right, with additional pencilled notes regarding fabric and design. Slightly worn and frayed; several small edge tears not affecting image.
Carmen, an opéra comique in four acts by Georges Bizet to a libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy after Prosper Mérimée's novel (1845), was first performed in Paris on March 3, 1875. "Bizet [1838-1875] might have surpassed all the many composers active in France in the last third of the 19th century had it not been for his untimely death at the age of 36. Carmen, first performed three months before his death, has become one of the most popular operas of any age." Hugh Macdonald in Grove onlineBenois was a highly important designer for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes and other notable European theatres; his influence on modern ballet and stage design is considered seminal. He executed the set and costume designs for a production of Carmen in Monte Carlo in 1932 with which this design is most probably associated (see Alexandre Benois, Memoirs, Vol. II, p. 259).
Item ID: 21788