Illustrated Souvenir of the Russian Opera & Ballet. Sir Joseph Beecham's Season. May 30 to July 25, 1914

Illustrated Souvenir of the Russian Opera & Ballet. Sir Joseph Beecham's Season. May 30 to July 25, 1914
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Maurice de Brunoff (edited). Illustrated with designs by Leon Bakst and Alexandre Benois.

Paris. Brunoff. 1914. Wrappers, with gold braid around spine. Unpaginated [c. 60 pages]. Front cover colour illustration by Valentine Gross of a Bakst costume, numerous colour costume illustrations by Léon Bakst (predominantly for La Légende de Joseph) including 3 full-page, a double-page spread of costume designs by Alexandre Benois for Rossignol (plus 2 set designs), many studio photographs of the dancers in costume, illustrated advertisements. 320 x 245mm (12½ x 9¾"). 0.4kg. English. Very good; there is very light surface wear commensurate with age, a small nick to the front and one to rear, a printed article on The Art of Karsavina is adhered at the head to the first advertisement page; generally a tight and very well preserved copy.

A fascinating souvenir programme commemorating a London season of the Ballets Russes in 1914. At this time Diaghilev's company was at the height of its fame. This 'Grand Season of Russian Opera and Russian Ballet' included 41 performances of operas and ballets. It was put together under the general direction of Serge Diaghilev and Baron Dimitri de Gunzbourg, and the chief choreographer was Michel Fokine. The ballets performed included Papillons, Daphnis and Chloe, Petrouchka, Scheherazade, Carnaval, La Legende de Joseph, Cleopatre, Midas, Le Spectre de la Rose and Nuit de Mai. Photographs of Leonide Massine, Vera Fokina, Michel Fokine, Thamar Karsavina, Marie Kousnetzoff, M. Blom and Sophie Pflanz, and set and costume designs by Bakst and Benois make this an important document in the history and study of the Ballets Russes. The advertisements for Schweppes, Pears, motorcars, fashion houses, Paquin, Charbonnel Chocolates, Peugeot, corsets and perfumes place this firmly in the pre-War years.