Roger Wood at the Opera: Images of The Royal Opera 1947-60
When: September 2010-March 2011
Where: Carriage Entrance Way, Foyer Link, Cloakroom Corridor, Paul Hamlyn Hall, Amphitheatre Bar and Gallery
During the Autumn/Winter Season 2010/11, Royal Opera House Collections are delighted to be exhibiting the work of one of the Royal Opera House’s most celebrated photographers, Roger Wood who worked at the Royal Opera House from 1946 until the 1960s. Although he is perhaps better known for his ballet photographs, Wood’s photographic collection also provides us with a unique photographic record of the early years of the fledgling Company that we now know as The Royal Opera and it is this lesser know work that the exhibition celebrates.
This exhibition includes a selection of Wood’s many opera photographs, from tempting glimpses of activities backstage, to on stage stills from some of the best remembered productions of the era. The exhibition also includes a selection of the costumes that feature in the operas that he photographed, including those worn by Joan Sutherland, Peter Pears and Edith Coates.
Roger Wood bequeathed his collection of theatre photography to Royal Opera House Collections, who are grateful to his widow, Rosemary Wood, for her assistance with this bequest. The catalogue for the Roger Wood Collection is available online.
A free trail guide leaflet for this exhibition is available. Special guided tours of the exhibition can be booked in person at the Box Office or by telephone on 020 7304 4000.
Top image: Margreta Elkins as Alisa, Joan Sutherland as Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor 17 February 1959 (Donizetti/Zeffirelli/Zeffirelli). From the Roger Wood Photographic Collection © ROH Collections
Middle left image: Benjamin Britten (composer) and John Pritchard (conductor) sharing a joke during rehearsals in the Crush Bar of the Royal Opera House in preparation for the world premiere of Gloriana, June 1953. From the Roger Wood Photographic Collection © ROH Collections
Middle right image: Jennifer Vyvyan as Penelope, Lady Rich, Geraint Evans as Lord Mountjoy, Peter Pears as Essex, Monica Sinclair as the Countess of Essex in Act II scene 2 of Gloriana 8 June 1953 world premiere (Britten/Coleman/Piper). From the Roger Wood Photographic Collection © ROH Collections
Bottom image: Ninette de Valois (Director of the Sadler’s Wells Ballet), Georges Wakhevitch (designer), and Karl Rankl (conductor and Music Director of the Covent Garden Opera Company) in the wings during rehearsals for Boris Godunov 12 May 1948 (Musorgsky/Brook/Wakhevitch). From the Roger Wood Photographic Collection © ROH Collections