Drawing the Curtain: Maurice Sendak's Designs for Opera and Ballet
Drawing the Curtain is the first museum exhibition - Morgan Library & Museum - to focus solely on the artist’s work with the opera and ballet. In the late 1970s, Sendak began collaborating with director Frank Corsaro on the Houston Grand Opera’s production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Sendak was a self-professed fan of the classical composer, once declaring, “I know that if there’s a purpose for life, it was for me to hear Mozart,” and he jumped at the chance to work with Corsaro on the production.
Drawing the Curtain also explores Sendak’s contributions to a darkly subversive adaptation of The Nutcracker, Leoš Janáček’s Cunning Little Vixen, Sergei Prokofiev’s Love for Three Oranges, and his own magnum opus, Where the Wild Things Are. (The operatic adaption of the book, set to music by composer Oliver Knussen, premiered in 1980.)
A number of drawings by 18th- and 19th-century artists who inspired Sendak—particularly William Blake, Giambattista Tiepolo and his son Domenico—are on view alongside his original creations. Drawn from the Morgan’s collection, these images directly influenced the illustrator, who encountered the artists’ work during his many visits to the Manhattan museum. [from The Smithsonian online Magazine]