Oliver Messel's costume designs

messel, oliver costume design2.jpg

Oliver Messel (1904-1978), Costume design for Count Almaviva in The Barber of Seville by Rossini at the Glyndebourne Festival Opera June 1954. Watercolor and gouache. GA 2012.02354.

messel, oliver costume design1.jpg
The Graphic Arts Collection also holds Oliver Messel’s, Portrait of a house, no date. Watercolor and gouache. GA 2006.02664 and A costume design for Sleeping Beauty, Carabosse and the Dwarves, by Peter Tchaikovsky, no date [about 1946]. Watercolor and gouache. GA 2006.02667.

“In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Messel’s style was seen as complementing the new verse play movement, spearheaded by Christopher Fry. He designed costumes and sets for The Lady’s not for Burning (1949), Ring Round the Moon (1950) and The Dark is Light Enough (1954).”

“His lavish approach to costume and set design was also appropriate for opera; from 1951 to 1959 he worked as a theatre designer for the Glyndebourne Festival Opera, then under the artistic direction of Carl Ebert. His productions include Idomeneo (1951), Le Nozze di Figaro (1955) and Der Rosenkavalier (1959), productions which enabled Messel to use his imaginative pastiche of historical styles to good effect. Carl Toms assisted him during the Glyndebourne period, from 1952 to 1959.” (quoted from Victoria and Albert Museum Messel archive site)

A scene from The Barber of Seville, in Madrids Teatro Real with Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Florez as Count Almaviva.