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The Theatrical World of Angus McBean - SAVE 75%!

The Theatrical World of Angus McBean - SAVE 75%!

Photographs from the Harvard Theatre Collection

by Fredric Woodbridge Wilson
Essay by Richard Traubner

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Product Details


ISBN: 978-1-56792-360-5
Pages: 192
Size: 9.9" x 9.12"
Published: March 2009
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The photography of Angus McBean encompasses more than three decades of the history of British theater. His work includes most of the memorable productions of the Old Vic Company and of what is now the Royal Shakespeare Company; opera productions at Glyndebourne and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; ballet and operetta at Sadler's Wells; and West End productions of plays and musicals both old and new – hundreds of productions in all. He was the favorite photographer of Vivien Leigh, Laurence Olivier, and Edith Evans, and he photographed countless plays starring John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson, and Alec Guinness, not to mention younger stars such as Audrey Hepburn, Richard Burton, and Elizabeth Taylor. In fact, McBean photographed virtually every great actor of his era, perhaps the most brilliant years in the annals of British theater.

His studio was active and eclectic; among his patrons were not only actors, singers, and dancers, but also playwrights, producers, composers, artists, and writers. In his early career, McBean had been a pioneer of surrealist photography, with a highly popular series of ""surrealized"" portraits that appeared in The Sketch, and, later, of montage and multiple-exposure photography in a long-running series for The Tatler.

In 1969, McBean approached Harvard University to initiate the sale of his collection, and in the following year his archive of glass plate negatives, index prints, and programs, together with the copyrights, became a part of the Harvard Theatre Collection, where it remains the most often-requested collection of visual material. The photographs in this book, selected and captioned by the archive's curator, Fredric Woodbridge Wilson, have been carefully reproduced from the original negatives.

For anyone interested in the history of twentieth-century theater or the figures who made the British stage so fascinating, this is a book that rolls back the curtain to reveal a cast of stars.

Fredric Woodbridge Wilson
Frederic Woodbridge Wilson was born in Point Pleasant, New Jersey and educated at Lehigh University (where he entered as a physics major but graduated as the school's first music major) and at New York University. He served as a curator at New York's Morgan University from 1980 to 1989, an experience that would prepare him for his fourteen-year term as Curator of the Harvard Theatre Collection. From 1996 until his death in 2010, Wilson organized and mounted more than forty exhibitions on subjects including Gilbert and Sullivan operas, Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, the choreographer George Balanchine, and American popular song. In 2004, he organized the centenary exhibition on Angus McBean, drawn entirely from the extensive photographic archive at the Harvard Theatre Collection. Trained in music history and performance, Wilson conducted more than 500 concerts of choral and early music and published musical editions and arrangements. He was also the author of the DataKit utility programs for humanities scholars.

Richard Traubner
Richard Traubner was a prominent scholar of opera, musical theater, film, and classical music, and perhaps the most important authority on operetta to ever come out of the United States. He attended Boston University and New York University, where he edited the newsletter of New York's prestigious Gilbert and Sullivan Society. He was a frequent contributor to many publications, including Opera News, The New York Times, The Economist, and translated and wrote liner and program notes for opera and theater productions. He was not only a prolific writer but also a talented, accessible one, with "an easy style" and "superb scholarship."