Set and costume designs for Homage to the Queen (Royal Opera House, 1953)

Scope and Content

This series includes sketches and final works for costume and set designs, sketches of scenes, model set pieces, colour palettes and costume notes

Administrative / Biographical History

Homage to the Queen, a ballet in one act celebrating the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. Oliver Messel's production was first performed by the Sadler's Well's Ballet (now known as the Royal Ballet) at the Royal Opera House, London on 2 June 1953. It was choreographed by Frederick Ashton with music by Malcolm Arnold and featured Margot Fonteyn as The Queen of Air and Michael Somes as her Consort. It was also performed at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, 18 September 1953 and Detroit, San Francisco and Brussels in 1958. Roger Pinkham has said of this production "the formal, courtly nature of the theme obviously suggested a Jacobean masque or court ballet." (Pinkham, ed., 1983).