News & Commentary, Opera, Stage

Opera Australia is selling off historic costumes at auction

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Hollywood memorabilia is a huge business: the famous golden dress worn by Marilyn Monroe as she serenaded President Kennedy was sold at auction last year for an incredible USD $4.8 million to Ripley’s Believe it or Not. Her iconic white dress from The Seven Year Itch was sold just a few years earlier for $4.6 million, and is owned by a private collector.

But if trophies from Tinseltown are a little bit out of your price range, Opera Australia is selling off costumes, accessories, artworks and memorabilia from its archives.

Many costumes and other items will be put on display from June 24 at the Opera Centre in Surry Hills, where most were created, as part of an exhibition celebrating 60 years of the company’s history. They will then be auctioned off on-site on June 30 and July 1, with bids accepted online and via phone.

The full catalogue is yet to be released, but Opera Australia has revealed the following items will be on sale:

* Costumes from Baz Luhrmann’s famous 1990 production of La Bohème

* Dame Kiri Te Kanawa ONZ DBE AC’s costume for the role as ‘Violetta’ in the 1978 production of La Traviata

* Yvonne Kenny AM’s costume for the roles of ‘Sylva Varescu’ in the 2001 production of The Gypsy Princess, ‘Hanna’ in the 2004 production of The Merry Widow and ‘Armida’ in the 1999 production of Rinaldo

* Sigrid Thornton’s costume for the role of ‘Desirée’ in 2009 production of A Little Night Music

* Dame Heather Begg DNZM OBE’s costume for the role of ‘The Countess Di Coigny’ in the 2001 production of Andrea Chénier

* Cheryl Barker AO’s costume for the role of ‘Lauretta’ in 2007 production of Gianni Schicchi

[box]Featured image: Sigrid Thornton and Anthony Warlow in Opera Australia’s 2009 production of A Little Night Music. Photo by Branco Gaica[/box]

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