Lot 238
  • 238

G. BIZET, 4 COLOURED LITHOGRAPHS ILLUSTRATING ORIGINAL SCENIC DESIGNS FOR "CARMEN", PARIS: CHOUDENS, 1875

Estimate
8,000 - 10,000 GBP
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Description

  • Bizet, Georges
  • Four elaborately hand-coloured lithographs illustrating the original set designs for the first production of Bizet's "Carmen.", within the publisher's printed title-wrappers, Paris: Choudens, 1875:
Théâtre de l'Opéra comique. Carmen Opéra comique en 4 Actes. de la Nouvelle de Prosper Mérimée, Poème de H. Meilhac & L. Halévy, Musique de Georges Bizet, [Paris Choudens père et fils, 30 Boulevard des Capucines]: the imprint on a label affixed to the cover, containing the instruction "N.B. Aussitôt après la première représentation nous renvoyer par poste franco ce Modèle des Décors") The four coloured lithographs depict the scenery for each act, as described in the libretto and Choudens's staging manual [translations]: Act 1: "A square in Seville. On the right, the door of a tobacco factory. At the back, facing the audience, a working bridge whose entire length crosses the stage...Carmen goes straight to Don José, who pays no attention to her"   Act 2: "The tavern of Lillas Pastia. Tables to the right and left...At the extreme left, two guitarists seated on the ground...Carmen is in front of the [left-hand] table, the lieutenant [José] to her left"   Act 3: "The curtain opens on some rocks...a scene picturesque and wild...Frasquita and Mercedes move downstage to the forestage...Carmen, who has been watching the [card-]game of the other Gypsies a bit over her shoulder, comes to the left of the forestage, draws up a pack that is near the group of men and moves to the card layout" Act 4: "A plaza in Seville. At the back of the theatre the walls of an old bullring. The entrance to the ring is closed by a long awning. It is the day of the bullfight...the entrance of Escamillo from the left into the arena; Carmen is with Frasquita and Mercedes at right centre..." oblong 4to (c.27 x 35cm), 4 lithographs depicting each of the four acts of Bizet's opera, 25.8 x 18.8 cm, mounted to larger sheets, the last two signed "A[uguste] Lamy"
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