Dress like a diva: Opera Australia to open its vaults for the first time; announces costume and memorabilia auction

Have you ever wanted to sit on the couch eating a tub of ice-cream whilst wearing an elegant ball gown worn by one of the characters in Baz Luhrmann’s famous 1990 production of La Bohème? (How can one be sad when one looks so glamorous?).

Well now is your chance! Opera Australia has dug deep into its fabulous wardrobe, collecting sixty years’ worth of costumes, accessories, artworks and memorabile in an anniversary exhibition at The Opera Centre.

The week-long event will end in an auction where the public can bid for an exclusive piece of Australia’s operatic story, making it possible for you to live out some of your swankiest fantasies. (‘Oh that vase on my mantel piece, that’s just from the set of La Traviata, the famous Italian Opera, no biggie’).

This is the first time Opera Australia will be opening its vaults, giving thousands of opera fans the opportunity to literally get up close and personal with some of the industry’s most iconic costumes.

Eloquently hand-crafted by teams of artisans over the years, the collection has been assessed, valued and cataloged by textile and memorabilia experts from renowned auction house Leonard Joel. The custom-designed pieces are all individual designed for specific productions and will be labelled with its providence, name of opera and the performer who it was made for.

Some of the highlights include:

  • Costumes from Baz Luhrmann’s famous 1990 production of La Bohème
  • Dame Kiri Te Kanawa ONZ DBE AC’s costume for the role as ‘Violetta’ in the 1978 production of La Traviata
  • Yvonne Kenny AM’s costume for the roles of ‘Sylva Varescu’ in the 2001 production of The Gypsy Princess, ‘Hanna’ in the 2004 production of The Merry Widow and ‘Armida’ in the 1999 production ofRinaldo
  • Sigrid Thornton’s costume for the role of ‘Desirée’ in 2009 production of A Little Night Music.
  • Dame Heather Begg DNZM OBE’s costume for the role of ‘The Countess Di Coigny’ in the 2001 production of Andrea Chénier
  • Cheryl Barker AO’s costume for the role of ‘Lauretta’ in 2007 production of Gianni Schicchi

The display and auction will take place at Opera Australia’s headquarters in Sydney’s Surry Hills. The auction will be held Friday June 30th and Saturday July 1st 2017. The bidding will also be available via phone and online.

Public viewing will be available from Saturday June 24th.

For more info visit: opera.org.au/auction