Sculpture & Carvings
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Series: Pelleas Melisande
Size: Size Framed: Currently not framed and can be for an addition $200
Edition Size: 100
in the photos we have a few photos showing the pieces grouped together. This is for one of the etchings and not the series. If interested in the series please let us know. We can custom frame them all together to any size and style.
Dale Chihuly and Claude Debussy’s Pelleas and Melisande
The only opera Claude Debussy ever finished, Pelleas and Melisande, is also considered a landmark in 20th century modern music. The famous composer’s wish to write music for theatre came true only after he discovered works of Maurice Maeterlinck, a Symbolist playwright. Debussy was drawn to Maeterlinck's play Pelléas et Mélisande, a timeless tragedy of love and desire. Surrounded by contrary opinions and serious criticism, the opera was finally staged in 1902 at the Opera Comique in Paris, and it subsequently became a program staple for the theatre. A century later, Speight Jenkins who was the Director of Seattle Opera at the time, approached Dale Chihuly, a famous glass artist, about a new, spectacular staging of the Debussy’s opera.
The new presentation of Pelleas and Melisande was to be adorned in a new stage design, entrusted to Chihuly. After instantly agreeing to design the set, the artist immediately wondered about the ways and difficulties in front of him. With a prolific history in artistic glass making, he envisioned an impressionistic surroundings enhanced by transparency and glimmer of a glass-like material.
While the actual monumental set was not made of glass, it was produced to preserve all the crucial qualities of this delicate material, especially the ways glass interacts with light. They were produced after Chihuly’s miniature glass models with the help of Plexiglas and mirrors. The final result gave a stunning feeling of ethereal environment where the universal love story was set.
Stage design for Debussy’s Pelleas and Melisande was the first theatrical endeavor for Dale Chihuly. By his own confession, the artist was more inspired by the storyline than by the music itself. The twelve scenes of the opera were enlivened with large sculptural inventions, from tubes and protuberances, curved discs, flower-inspired curvatures, all glowing with nuances red, green and blue. Emphasizing the Symbolism of the Maeterlinck’s libretto, Chihuly used abstract, associative forms, accentuating features of Art Nouveau with contemporary visual interpretations of floral, marine and other natural elements. Giving out an impression of liquid elegance, Dale Chihuly’s opera stage design received positive reviews and provided a platform for further development.
Pelleas + Melisande + Chihuly Etching Set In concordance with his artistic practice, Dale Chihuly developed the set design for Pelleas and Melisande through a series of preparatory drawings. These drawings later served as an incentive for a limited edition of twelve etchings entitled Pelleas - Melisande - Chihuly.
Published on the occasion of Seattle Opera’s premiere production of Claude Debussy’s Pelleas and Melisande in March of 1993, these twelve etchings correspond with the scenes from the musical play. This rare volume consists of visual works accompanied by selected dialogue from the Maeterlinck's libretto. The volume is designed, printed letterpress and bound by Jim Koss and Judith Johnson in a first edition of 100, of which this book is the Artist’s Proof.
Entitled “Genevieve”. Inscribed with libretto text: I know neither her age, nor who she is / nor where she belongs, and I do not dare / to ask her yet...
The only etching bearing a female name, Genevieve, invokes the spirit of Pelleas’ and Golaud’s mother. It uncovers her hidden feelings, while the inscription reveals a female principle. The color and the scene refer to the moment she is showing the gardens to Melisande, a mysterious newcomer to her royal home.
Signed by Dale Chihuly, the volume comes with a gallery issued Certificate of Authenticity.
Etchings from Pelleas and Melisande series are on offer either full bount or as individual book folios.
Each individual print can be framed, and increases its original price by $200.
Select our Best Offer option and name your price. The first bidder to meet the bottom line price takes this rare print home.