Adelaide Festival Centre presents BRAVO! Classical Costumes from Opera and Ballet

Festival Centre

Opera and ballet are two of the most enduring art forms, loved not only for the music but also their lavish costumes. From the depths of Adelaide Festival Centre’s Performing Arts Collection comes a stunning array of costumes, programs and designs from opera and ballet performed in South Australia from 1890.

On display from 11 February until 26 April in the Festival Theatre foyer display cabinets, BRAVO! celebrates distinguished international and national opera and ballet productions that are still performed all over the world today.

Highlights include:

  • A royal purple velvet and silkjacket and breeches worn by Jan Kiepura in Verdi’s opera Rigoletto performed by New York’s Metropolitan Opera c1937
  • A collection of stunning costumes designed by Kenneth Rowell for ballet Sun Music, composed by Peter Sculthorpe and choreographed by Robert Helpmann in 1968
  • A cream ball gown with rosette embellishmentsfrom Rameau’s opera-ballet Pygmalion, performed at Adelaide Festival of Arts in 1972
  • Various costume designs by Luciana Arrighi for Richard Meale’s opera VOSS at Adelaide Festival of Arts in 1986
  • A rare concert program from Carl Maria von Weber’sopera Der Freischutz performed by Adelaide Harmonie Society in 1890
  • Various costume designs by Liane Wilcher for Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute at Adelaide Festival of Arts in 1996 

Every show comes to a close but its memory is forever captured and preserved within the Performing Arts Collection. Established in 1979, the collection holds a spectacular array of costumes, set models, designs, posters, photographs and programs from theatre, music, music theatre, opera, dance, circus, festivals, theatre décor and design donated by the performers, creatives and family members, representing the contribution South Australians have made to the performing arts industry, both on stage and behind-the-scenes.

Adelaide Festival Centre Senior Exhibitions Curator Charissa Davies says, “Adelaide Festival Centre’s Performing Arts Collection is amazingly unique and one that we will continue to grow and display. BRAVO! is a celebration of some of the timeless operas and ballets that have graced South Australian stages since 1890. We’re excited to dust off these precious pieces and give them a new temporary home in the Festival Theatre for all to enjoy.”


BRAVO! Classical Costumes from Opera and Ballet


11 February – 26 April 2017


Festival Theatre foyer display cabinets

Festival Theatre is open Monday to Friday, and weekends/afterhours during public performances.

For information about access for patrons (including those with disabilities), please visit



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For publicity images and/or interview opportunities with Senior Curator Charissa Davies about the exhibition contact:
Clare Axford – Publicity Coordinator – 08 8216 8507 / 0414 794 400 /
Petrina Egan – Publicity Executive – 08 8216 8699 / 0423 324 288 /

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