Painting The Stage: Artists as Stage Designers

From the 19th century to the present day, the meeting of music and the avant-garde visual arts has produced groundbreaking innovations in both fields. Nowhere is this meeting of the arts as intense as it is on the operatic stage.

Painting the Stage charts the close and catalytic relationship between opera and the visual arts from Karl Friedrich Schinkel’s 19th-century stage designs for Mozart’s Magic Flute to William Kentridge’s 21st-century operas (with artists such as André Derain, Balthus, Salvador Dalí, André Masson, Oskar Kokoschka, Robert Indiana, David Hockney and Robert Wilson appearing in between). At the end of the book, a series of interviews with contemporary artists such as William Kentridge, Daniel Richter, Anselm Kiefer, Bill Viola and Robert Longo show that opera today, more than ever, is a form of Gesamtkunswerk or “total art,” beyond what Wagner could ever have imagined.

By Denise Wendel-Poray
280 pages
Published by Skira, 2019
7.5 x 1.4 x 10.1 inches