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Costume design
  • Costume design
    Stone, Alix, born 1913 - died 2010
  • Enlarge image

Costume design

  • Date:

    1974

  • Artist/Maker:

    Stone, Alix, born 1913 - died 2010 (costume designers)

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dr Ray Ingram

  • Museum number:

    S.71-2004

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Alix Stone was unusual among designers in producing drawings of groups of related costumes. Theatre designs are usually seen singly, and it is difficult to get any idea of the complexity of creating designs for a large number of individual characters that, for instance, make up the chorus in an opera, or extras in a play. The designer has to create a total picture, in which the principal characters stand out against the moving background of a big chorus while not destroying the whole stage picture. The 'scroll' allowed the designer and the costume makers to see the overall shape and pattern of individuals within the group, or how the principals related to each other or the chorus.
Designing variations on a single theme, like 18th century prostitutes or street vendors is a greater test of a designer than creating grand individual costumes.
Although theatre designs are often considered works of art and are sought after by museums and private collectors, their artistic worth or decorative qualities are secondary to whether they 'work' on stage. The success of a costume design cannot be judged until it is translated into fabric, texture and decoration by the costume makers and seen as part of the whole stage picture. Some designers are very knowledgeable about costume making and produce very detailed designs, with notes on fabrics and making techniques, others create an 'atmospheric' drawing, which gives the feeling of the costume, and they then either work closely with the costume maker to realise their concept or have trusted makers who know their work and can create the effects they have in mind.

Physical description

Long scroll of line drawings of the the chorus, crowd and ballet costumes in Manon. Groups of men and women in 18th century dress, the men in elaborate evening costume and day dress, and figures in the ballet wearing ballet de cour costumes after the period of Louis XIV, the men wearing tonnelets, the women adaptations of period costume.

Date

1974

Artist/maker

Stone, Alix, born 1913 - died 2010 (costume designers)

Marks and inscriptions

Characters identified in groups

Object history note

Costume design by Alix Stone for the female characters in a production of Massenet's opera "Manon" performed by the English National Opera at the London Coliseum, January 24th 1974. The opera was translated by Edmund Tracey, and the production was directed by John Copley. The scenery was designed by Henry Bardon; the lighting was designed by Robert Bryan; and the choreographer was Pauline Grant. The production was subsequently revived at the Coliseum in September 1974, and extensively toured various English provincial theatres during the springs of 1974 and 1975.

The production was later revised with some new costume designs by Alix Stone at the London Coliseum on April 12th 1979. This revised version was subsequently revived at the Coliseum in February 1980, February 1982, and October 1984.

Descriptive line

Costume design by Alix Stone for the characters in "Manon", English National Opera at the London Coliseum, 1974

Production Note

Reason For Production: Commission

Materials

Paper (fiber product); Pen and ink

Production Type

Unique

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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