Spooky Sendak Theater Sets

In 2013, New York City Opera filed for bankruptcy.  Shortly after that, the company auctioned off the contents of a warehouse full of sets and costumes for many of their productions.  Among them were ones designed by Maurice Sendak.  Antiquarian bookseller Justin G. Schiller, one of Sendak’s greatest champions, scooped up some of them for a song.  Shortly after sets for Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen, Prokofiev’s The Love of Three Oranges, and Mozart’s L’oca de Cairo were delivered to a warehouse in upstate New York, Justin invited me to come see them.   Walking among the flats and costumes felt as if I had been transported into an Ingmar Bergman film   Even in broad daylight, it was pretty eerie.Which didn’t stop us from trying on costumes…  To the left, you’ll see the mate to the Sendak clock, beautifully displayed in the case made by the gentleman in the zany mask, aka Judson Beaumont of Straight Line Designs.

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