EXHIBITION: 19 June - 31 August

Ilse Bing: Productions

This exhibition presents Glyndebourne’s collection of photographic prints by Ilse Bing - one of Europe’s leading photographers in the interwar period - for the first time.

Performance in motion

When Bing arrived at Glyndebourne, she was already well-versed in capturing and photographing live theatre performance, with her dynamic images of can-can dancers at the Moulin Rouge, Paris in 1931 being of particular significance. At the time, Glyndebourne, still in its infancy, was already actively acquiring photographic documentation of all its productions. Ilse Bing marks the first female photographer to photograph opera at Glyndebourne.

Bing’s approach allows for a certain dreaminess that has become representative of her pre-Second World War style, in which geometries and strong shadows are foregrounded, from the profile of the performer in motion, to the towering sets shot from high angles; characteristics of an emerging modernist language. Bing’s photography of Glyndebourne’s productions marks an early attempt to encapsulate live performance, a dramatic shift away from traditional ‘staged’ theatre photography.

Le nozze di Figaro, 1937
Ilse Bing
Gelatin silver print
19.4 x 27.9 cm

The image above depicts John Brownlee and Aulikki Rautawaara as Count and Countess Almaviva (far left), Irene Eisinger as Susanna and Willi Domgraf-Fassbander as Figaro (holding hands as they descend the staircase) in the 1937 revival of Glyndebourne’s first ever production of Mozart’s opera, which premiered in 1934. Conducted by Fritz Busch and produced by Carl Ebert, with set designs by Hamish Wilson and costume designs by Ann Litherland.

It is available from our shop as a limited edition gelatin silver print which replicates the specifications of the original held in the Glyndebourne Archive.

Le nozze di Figaro, 1937.
Ilse Bing
Gelatin silver print
27.3 x 16 cm

Le nozze di Figaro, 1937.
Ilse Bing
Gelatin silver print
20 x 28 cm

Le nozze di Figaro, 1937.
Ilse Bing
Gelatin silver print
27.9 x 17.2 cm

Così fan tutte, 1937.
Ilse Bing
Gelatin silver print
27.9 x 21.8 cm

Così fan tutte, 1937.
Ilse Bing
Gelatin silver print
21.7 x 24.8 cm

Così fan tutte, 1937.
Ilse Bing
Gelatin silver print
26.5 x 22.7 cm

Così fan tutte, 1937.
Ilse Bing
Gelatin silver print
21.4 x 27.9 cm

Don Giovanni, 1937.
Ilse Bing
Gelatin silver print
28 x 29.4 cm

Don Giovanni, 1937.
Ilse Bing
Gelatin silver print
19.6 x 28 cm

Don Giovanni, 1937.
Ilse Bing
Gelatin silver print
19.8 x 28 cm


Continue the exhibition…

All Ilse Bing photography © The Estate of Ilse Bing. All other works © the artist

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