Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Design - Set design for Carmen at Sadler's Wells
  • Set design for Carmen at Sadler's Wells
    Kestelman, Morris, born 1905 - died 1988
  • Enlarge image

Set design for Carmen at Sadler's Wells

  • Object:

    Design

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1939 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Kestelman, Morris, born 1905 - died 1988 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gouache and watercolour on cartridge paper

  • Museum number:

    S.58-2005

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This set design is by Morris Kestelman (1905-1998) for Act I of Bizet's opera Carmen, a square in Seville outside the tobacco factory. Kestelman was commissioned by Tyrone Guthrie in 1939 to design both sets and costumes for the production at Sadler's Wells Theatre which Guthrie ran. Carmen opened in February 1940, one of several operas that were performed in repertory at Sadler's Wells during 1939 and 1940. It was a struggle to continue productions during wartime; staff all accepted salary cuts as high as 50%, and to celebrate the achievement of mounting opera there during wartime, a 'jubilee performance' celebrating the 50th performance of opera since the war began took place at Sadler's Wells on 31st January 1940.

Morris Kestelman (1905-1998) is best known as a painter, but made a significant contribution as a stage designer during the 1940s when he also designed Tabbaro and Gianni Schicchi for Sadler's Wells, and Richard III, The Alchemist and Doctor Faustus for the Old Vic.

Physical description

Watercolour and gouache design showing the whole stage, a street scene with a view of Seville through an archway centre stage, the front of the tobacco factory stage left with the sign 'FABRICA DE TABACOS', and a street vendor's stall downstage left with a red awning. There is a male figure sitting at a grinding wheel downstage left.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)

Date

1939 (made)

Artist/maker

Kestelman, Morris, born 1905 - died 1988 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Gouache and watercolour on cartridge paper

Marks and inscriptions

M. Kestelman
Signed in black ink lower left

"Carmen" Sadler's Wells 1940
Inscribed in the margin, lower right

Dimensions

Height: 29.4 cm, Width: 44.0 cm

Object history note

Design for Act 1 of Bizet's opera Carmen, a square in Seville outside the tobacco factory. Commissioned by Tyrone Guthrie for a production at Sadler's Wells Theatre, part of the 1939/1940 repertory season of opera there.

Descriptive line

Set design for Act 1 of Bizet's opera Carmen, Sadler's Wells Theatre, 10 February 1940. Watercolour and gouache by Morris Kestelman (1905-1998).

Materials

Gouache; Watercolour; Cartridge paper

Categories

Entertainment & Leisure

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.