[Ballets Russes] Opera Privé de Paris
1929 Premiere Saison Program
Profusely illustrated 1929 program for the Opera Privé de Paris production of “Prince Igor” by Borodine. 9.5 x 12.5 inches. 28 pp. Nine tipped-in color plates, including a portrait of its star singer, Maria Kousnetzoff; and, by Konstantin Korovine, six character costumes and two stage sets. The color cover is by J. Bilibine. Also included are full-page portraits of Madame Alexandra Balachova and of baritone Michel Benois, as well as many smaller photographs of other participants such as orchestra director Emil Cooper and choreographer-dancer Michel Fokine (who, a few years later, developed the famous Ballet based on Prince Igor). The center pages somewhat loose from the staples, edges slightly chipped, but complete and overall in very good condition.
Started after the death of Diaghilev in 1929, the Opéra Privé de Paris was another continuation of the Ballets Russes. Co-directed by Maria Kousnezoff-Massenet, they performed Russian operas and ballets in Paris, Barcelona and London in the late 1920s and 1930s.
The painter Konstantin Korovin (1861-1939) began designing stage sets for the Mamontov opera house in 1885, and increasingly did work for the theatre, moving to the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg at the beginning of the century. In 1923 he moved to Paris and spent most of the rest of his life designing stage sets for major theatres around the world. The Russian artist, illustrator of books, set and costume designer Ivan Bilibin (1876-1942) did much work for the Ballets Russes. His work was strongly influenced by Russian folk and medieval art. Boris Bilinsky (1900-1948) was commissioned in 1927 to produce the graphic designs for the French release of Fritz Lang’s film Metropolis.