Chorus Sets From Opera Australia

Chorus Sets From Opera Australia

Opera Australia is auctioning entire chorus sets of operetta and opera costumes, suitable for amateur theatre and schools, as part of its auction of almost 2,500 custom made costumes, accessories, artworks and memorabilia. They will go under the hammer in an historic auction on Friday June 30 and July 1.

Among the sets perused by Stage Whispers are a collection of ten dancer costumes from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe, designed by Roger Kirk, with an expected price of between $500 and $1000.

Twelve male chorus costumes from various Gilbert and Sullivan operas designed by Roger Kirk are expected to sell for between $400 and $600.

The entire principal and chorus set of The Gondoliers is expected to fetch between $15,000 and $25,000.

There is also a collection of minor principal costumes from A Little Night  Music.

Other sets of chorus costumes available for purchase include The Wizard of Oz, The Merry Widow, Patience and the entire set of costumes for the opera Lohengrin. Themes for sets of costumes are wide and varied.

The individual items and sets are on display this week at Opera Australia’s headquarters in Surry Hills.

There is a buyer’s premium of 24 percent on all purchases, and the price estimates are only guides. So there could be some bargains in there.

Opera Australia’s wardrobe staff and textile experts from auction house Leonard Joel have spent months sorting through more than 10,000 meticulously hand-crafted costumes from 100 different productions from OA past repertoire.  Each item was assessed, valued, photographed and catalogued resulting in a final collection of 1,500 costumes to go to auction.

In addition more than 800 artworks will also be auctioned, comprising of costume and set design drawings and sketches along with promotional posters, prints and lithographs.

Significant costumes include:

·         Costumes from Baz Luhrmann’s famous 1990 production of La Bohème

·         Dame Kiri Te Kanawa ONZ DBE AC’s ‘Violetta’ costume from the 1978 production of La Traviata

·         Yvonne Kenny AM’s costumes for the 2001 production of The Gypsy Princess, the 2004 production of The Merry Widow and the 1999 production of Rinaldo

·         Sigrid Thornton’s costume for the role of Desirée in 2009 production of A Little Night Music.

·         Cheryl Barker AO’s costume for the role of ‘Lauretta’ in 2007 production of Gianni Schicchi