Late illustrator Sendak’s impact on classical music world

Posted on: May 10, 2012

Tuesday (5/8) in a blog for WQXR, Brian Wise writes, “The Brooklyn-born illustrator and author Maurice Sendak, who died Tuesday in Danbury, Conn. at 83, was best known for his dark fantasy ‘Where the Wild Things Are,’ but he made his mark in the classical music world as well. Many of Sendak’s books had second lives on stage and screen. Among the most notable adaptations are the operas Where the Wild Things Are and Higglety Pigglety Pop! by the British composer Oliver Knussen. But Sendak’s influence went deeper. Starting in the early 1980s, he designed sets for operas and ballets, some of which were widely used by regional opera companies. His version of Mozart’s The Magic Flute for the Houston Grand Opera (1980) was rented out to smaller companies so frequently that the backdrops needed to be painstakingly restored when Houston revived it in 2004. The company also hired Sendak to design sets and costumes for Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel (1997). Sendak’s work was featured several times at New York City Opera, most notably his 1981 staging of Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen.”

Posted May 10, 2012