This is the story of a man who loved his art so much he became a part of trying to bring what was, and still is seen as an unfashionable and elitist art form to the mass market.
Alan Sievewright lived and breathed Opera, he counted many of the operatic stars of his day as his personal friends including Luciano Pavarotti, Maria Callas, Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo, etc.
Sievewright was born in Edinburgh on May 12, 1934. His family moved to London when he was just a small boy where he studied music and became a boy soprano. Even at an early age he loved the theatre.
In his own words: “I first went to the theatre at the age of eight. At the age of 11 I stood for five hours to watch Wagner’s Gotterdammerung. I was fortunate enough to grow up in an amazing period where I saw people like Laurence Olivier, The early Kirov and Bolshoi Ballets and the explosive Nureyev.” Even at an early age Sievewright was destined to be “something” in the theatre.
He trained to become a designer and worked initially for Warner Brothers British studios as a costume and set designer, before heading off to Paris to further his training and experience with the top fashion designer Pierre Balmain. Here he was introduced to Marlene Dietrich, who was to become a lifelong friend.
By the mid 60s he had returned to London and became an operatic impresario putting on his own, distinctive and influential range of rarely seen operas, casting the likes of Joan Sutherland, Montserrat Caballé, Elena Suilioutis, etc. in the leading roles. He even gave an international debut to a young Jose Carreras. All 23 of his one-night shows were sell-outs!
He later went on to TV production, producing some very well-regarded art documentaries, winning an award for his Maria Callas documentary entitled Maria, which spawned a hit US TV show starring Jane Seymour in the leading role.
In 1990, he launched OnLine Classics, a live performance replication company, as a way to bring more operas to more people. In 2001 he was asked to design and construct a museum to the performing arts at Renishaw Hall in Derbyshire. He contributed many of the artefacts himself.
Alan Sievewright died in January 2007 aged 72. He was a keen theatregoer right to the end!
The picture above is a typical Alan Sievewright costume design and this one is a very distinctive and large watercolour of a dress made for the opera Turandot by Puccini it is signed and dated 1960.
This painting is available currently for sale in my showroom or in my online shop and is a real bargain at only £1,200. Alternatively, as advertised in this paper, we now offer a leasing arrangement, so this along with all of our paintings, can be rented for a small fixed monthly rental fee.
This great original painting, along with many others, is available to view, purchase or rent at AntiqArt, the “preloved art” gallery at Holme Grange Craft Village or online at www.antiqart.co.uk or call us on 0118 327 5421.