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Vestiaire de Divas, de Maria Callas à Dalida (Cloakroom of Divas, from Maria Callas to Dalida)

Start Date 05 June 2010
End Date 31 December 2010
Venue Centre National du Costume de Scene
Location Moulins, France
Curator Delphine Pinasa
Designer Maurizio Galante
Exhibition display of dressed mannequins
Exhibition display of dressed mannequins

Appeared at the beginning of the 19th century to designate an opera singer, the term Diva is now frequently used to refer to any woman of strong personality enjoying a certain celebrity, whatever her artistic field. Despite everything, the Diva remains an iconic and essential character on today’s scene.

The Center national du costume de scène pays tribute to this prima donna figure, adorned with an emblematic aura, through an exhibition and a book “Vestiaire de Divas”, by presenting nearly two hundred and fifty pieces, stage costumes and recital, jewelry and accessories. The exhibition offers a journey through the wardrobes of Divas , singers, Maria Callas, Régine Crespin, June Anderson, Montserrat Caballé, Renée Fleming… actresses, Sarah Bernhardt, Edwige Feuillère, Marie Bell, Cécile Sorel, Isabelle Adjani… magazine leaders, Zizi Jeanmaire, stars of French song, Edith Piaf, Dalida, Barbara … all gathered for this presentation on the same stage, in a completely unusual way. A beautiful tray you could say …

The golden legend of these divas is evoked through their stage costumes, their accessories, jewelry, hairstyles, shoes, makeup kits, travel trunks … and still photos and filmed extracts of their performances.

Visitors are also invited to discover the vision of some of today’s great fashion designers for these modern Divas, with the costumes of Maurizio Galante worn by June Anderson for her Parisian parade in January 2010, those of Christian Lacroix for Renée Fleming at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, those by Yves Saint Laurent for Zizi Jeanmaire, or those created by Frank Sorbier for “La Traviata”, staged by Henry-Jean Servat as part of “Open-air operas”.

Thanks to a partnership with INA, these rich hours of the Divas are illustrated with extracts from films, chosen from the collections of the National Audiovisual Institute which house a rich and unique collection of images and sounds dedicated to these great Ladies.

Images courtesy of Centre National du Costume de Scene