Karel Appel’s opera sets in Cobra Museum


At the invitation of Pierre Audi, director of Dutch National Opera, Karel Appel (1921-2006) designed the sets for two operas, Die Zauberflöte and Noach, in 1994 and 1995. His designs generated a mixed response from press and public, from consternation to high praise. The sets are colourful and theatrical, and display the expressive style so characteristic of Appel: a concrete and instinctive art depicting the great human themes that are also central to opera. At the age of 73, he took up the gauntlet with enthusiasm and created, along with Dutch National Opera’s set builders, a series of grotesque fantastic creatures, mythological figures and enormous backdrops. This year is the tenth anniversary of Karel Appel’s death. To mark the occasion, the Cobra Museum of Modern Art is collaborating with Dutch National Opera in retrieving the sets from storage and putting them in the spotlights again.

The exhibition Karel Appel - the opera in the Cobra Museum for Modern Art, in Amstelveen, will run from 23 February to 15 May
Opening: Sunday 21 February 2016, attended by Pierre Audi and opera singer Marieke Reuten

For more information, see the website of the Cobra Museum: cobra-museum.nl