Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Opéra National de Paris and Bibliothèque Nationale Project

If you missed "Les Tragédiennes de l’Opéra," the exhibit presented from June 9 - September 25 at Bibliothèque-musée de l’Opéra in the Palais Garnier, you can still experience it by buying the guide book assembled by Albin Michel: "Opera is enriched by its divas. All-powerful goddesses, objects of every fantasy, they are also slaves sacrificed to their art, to composers and to their public. Through them and through their science, their destiny, their cult-worship, and their power, the history of opera unfolds. This exhibition will evoke for the first time some of the great figures linked to the Palais Garnier, that erstwhile brand-new temple devoted to opera and all its excesses: among others, Rose Caron (who gave first performances of Reyer’s works as well as the roles of Sieglinde in The Walkyrie and Desdemona in Otello), Gabrielle Krauss (first performer of Gounod’s last works), Sybil Sanderson (Massenet’s muse for Thaïs), and Lucienne Bréval, the very model of the noble singer, who would reign here for thirty years…In the opening years of
the new century, modernity entered the theatre with the fiery temperaments of Aino Ackté, Emma Calvé and Mary Garden with her scandalous Salomé. This exhibition will rekindle the memory of these exceptional women through photographs, objects, jewellery, costume sketches and rare documents. Presented inside the Palais Garnier itself, the exhibition will also evoke the passage from one century to another which is as much to be felt in the repertoire as in the image reflected by these goddesses and their relationship with the public." Purchase price of the book is 49.00 €. [Source]

Check out a photo of Geneviève Vix as Salome at the Palais Garnier in 1926 (Estampe de P. Godard BmO, Musée n° 826).