November 29

RIPM’s “Illustration of the Week”
Making Waves at the Opera

This week’s illustrations feature three 19th-century images offering a unique operatic vision from the depths of the ocean and from above its surface. For an 1843 production of the now obscure three-act opera, Le naufrage héroïque du vaisseau, Le Vengeur (The Heroic Sinking of the Ship, The Avenger), this is how extras at the Cirque-Olympique created the illusion of a calm sea …

The calm of the sea
L’Illustration, Vol. II (23 December 1843): 261.

… and one turned violent.

The rough sea
Ibid.

Though there were many technological advances on the stage during the 19th-century, by 1866, charting the seas was not one of them.

L’Illustration, Vol. XLVIII (29 September 1866): 205.

 

RIPM search tip: To browse numerous images of opera scenes in RIPM’s Retrospective Index and Online Archive, fill in the following fields: Keyword = Opera; Type = Illustration. Those records labeled “ROA” are available in full-text.

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Posted November 29, 2017 by John Ehrenburg in category "Uncategorized