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In advance of the much-anticipated openings of the National Museum of Natural History’s Sant Ocean Hall and the Washington National Opera’s production of Bizet's The Pearl Fishers, join us for a special presentation by renowned fashion and set designer Zandra Rhodes.


Fishermen on stilts sketch
Image courtesy: Zandra Rhodes

The Pearl Fishers, featuring costumes and sets designed by Rhodes, premiered at the San Diego Opera on February 14, 2004. The opera was such a success that it traveled to Michigan, San Francisco and New York. The Washington National Opera premiere of this production will be on September 20, 2008.

Set in nineteenth century Ceylon (modern day Sri Lanka), The Pearl Fishers' tropical setting and the passion of its characters are captured by Rhodes with her signature vibrant colors and bold patterns. From the breathtaking opening scene to its fiery demise, Rhodes's designs make for a truly unforgettable performance.

Ceremonial dancer sketch
Image courtesy: Zandra Rhodes


Along with fellow adventurer and artist, Andrew Logan, Rhodes traveled to Sri Lanka to study this beautiful Indian Ocean island and produced a multitude of sketches, which served as the basis for her designs.

Village banners sketch
Image courtesy: Zandra Rhodes

In this special presentation, Rhodes discusses her travels to Sri Lanka and the process of designing sets and costumes for this sea island themed opera.



A book-signing in the Museum Store follows. Copies of her book, Zandra Rhodes and the Art of Textiles: A Life Long Love Affair, will be available for purchase on Friday evening.


Presented by:
the National Museum of Natural History and
the Washington National Opera.



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