Glitter, colours and traditions


Collection of Costume Designs for Opera and Ballet

Publication: USSR, Ukraine and Azerbaijan, [1940s].

[OPERA COSTUMES IN UKRAINE AND AZERBAIJAN], Collection of Costume Designs for Opera and Ballet

From Ukraine to Azerbaijan: a rich and unusual group of watercolour costumes for various operas given in theatres of these countries.

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Our Notes & References

Colourful collection of original drawings showing costume designs for world famous ballets and operas by various artists for the Odessa, Kharkov, Kiev and Baku theatres.

The collection includes costume designs for dancers in the Walpurgis Night scene from Faust; for Patriarch and Boris Godunov in Boris Godunov by Modest Mussorgsky; for the ladies-in-waiting of Elsa von Brabant in Lohengrin by Richard Wagner; for the Pharaoh’s daughter Amneris in Aida by Verdi; for Onegin, Tatiana and Lenskii in Eugene Onegin by Petr Tchaikovsky.

The most impressive and detailed are multiple costume designs for the ballet The Maiden Tower choreographed by Vakhtang Vronskii (1905-88) for Odessa, Kiev and Baku theatres. This ballet, with music by Afrasiyab Badalbayli, premiered in 1940 and was the first Azerbaijani ballet and the first ballet in the Muslim East.

A very unusual group opening several angles for further research.

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Physical Description

Collection of 29 works on paper, one double-sided, various sizes: from app. 29 x 19 cm to 38 x 24 cm, gouache, watercolour, ink and pencil on paper, manuscript notes in pencil to both sides.


Light soiling, traces of glue and paper on reverse.

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