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building interior fireworks

July 2, 2013

opera house shap

Last night I went to see Sleeping Beauty at the Metropolitan Opera House. I had been there before and had blamed the Versailles circa 1958 vision to Phillip Johnson, in fact I blame a  lot of Lincoln Center on Phillip Johnson but no- another villain emerges; Mr. Wallace Harrison. Cast as the villain in the saga of the UN against Le Corbusier, Harrison actually had a huge impact on interiors in New York City. First off, I need to find who was the lead designer (Harrison being the head of the firm and a businesmans he was not the taste maker) was on the confection that is the Opera House. The Marc Chagall mural is one thing but you can spend hours tracing the “Mad Men” like design decisions through out the space; the velvet proscenium curtain is the graphic inverse of the relief treatment of the stage flanks, and who ordered up the concrete brut detail at the balconies? Taste or no taste it dazzles ( the point really). Sometimes I love New York.

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