Opera Stage Design | Chamber Operas

iz maglow

"iz .art" : Stage Design / Introduction

For more than a decade, Iz Maglow has been designing picturesque sets for the opera stage of the Frankfurt Chamber Opera. This free ensemble has made a name for itself in Frankfurt since the early eighties with chamber opera performances in theaters and open-air events. In the following sketches, stage designs and stage photos are presented in a partially artistically alienated documentation.


Under "In-House Productions" this section presents stage designs with the Kammeroper Frankfurt and the Oper Frankfurt between the years 1987 and 1994. 

IN-HOUSE STAGE DESIGN: J.Offenbach in 1990

These Opera Performances took place on different stages in Frankfurt and at "Städtische Bühnen" of Frankfurt Opera.

  • Domenico Cimarosa, Il Matrimonio Segreto (1993),
  • Gaetano Donizetti, Il Campanello (1994),
  • Antonio Salieri, Prima la Musica poi le Parole (1988),
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, La Finta Giardiniera (1987)


The Open-Air Stage Designs were designed and realized for open-air performances in the Frankfurt Kastanien Allee and in the Palmengarten Frankfurt. 

OPEN-AIR STAGE DESIGN: Donizetti in 1998

With these performances, the Frankfurt Chamber Opera initiated a series of open-air operas that continues today in the summer months in Frankfurt / Main.

  • Gioachino Rossini, L' Italiana in Algeri (1998)
  • Gaetano Donizetti, Viva la Mama (1993)
  • Joseph Haydn, L'Infedelta Delusa (1992)
  • Georg Friedrich Haendel, Acis and Galatea (1990)

Rossini Festival
Iz Maglow: ROSSINI

Several Rossini operas of successive years were grouped together in 1992 in an extensive Rossini Festival. 

Chamber Opera stage picture: Rossini in 1992 (stage illustration documentation)

All sets of the operas of the ROSSINI FESTIVAL in 1992 were created on the occasion of the 200th birthday of Gioachino Rossini.

  • Gioachino Rossini, La Cambiale di Matrimonio (1989)
  • Gioachino Rossini, La Scala di Seta (1990)
  • Gioachino Rossini, L' Occasione fa il Ladro (1991)
  • Gioachino Rossini, Il Signor Bruschino (1992)

Opera Stage Design by Iz Maglow

Iz Maglow's stage sets for opera and chamber opera show color-intensive 3D paintings, which often showed on the opera stage clear parallels to Maglow's paintings and his pictorial themes processed on canvas. 

As a result, some of these themes, through their implementation in a stage space, have undergone a creative development that, in connection with the paintings and sculptures, open up new perspectives. But the stage work also inspired the painter in the opposite direction, so that opera subjects were unmistakably part of the painterly work.

Before each new opera project, Iz Maglow captured his ideas in stage sketches, drawings and stage models. It is a normal process that many initial ideas change several times before the final set design concept crystallizes.

For this online presentation, the painter deliberately digitally alienated his sketches, stage paintings, model photos and stage documents in order to enhance the painterly effect. Also the short flash animations and scene shots are presented by the stage designer in a digitally modified version.

Overview of all opera sets by Iz Maglow

This web presentation shows only a few of the stage designs that Iz Maglow has designed for "Kammeroper Frankfurt" and "Oper Frankfurt am Main".

Under Stage References you will find a list of all his plays and operas for which he has designed stage designs.

Flash Animations include Flash animated stage design documentation. This section requires the download of the latest Flash Player.

Individual Quotes / Press Reviews:

"... 70,000 Marks were available for the entire production – this amount would easily be worth the dignified abstract panel paintings of Iz Maglow, which, in addition to the gallant mural of the "Logenbühne" made up the equipment. ..." Frankfurter Rundschau, 1987 about "La Finta Giardiniera" (Mozart)

"... The stage (Iz Maglow) summarizes the whole thing in a peek-boxed spectacle with colorful apercus ..." Frankfurter Neue Presse, 1988 about "Prima la Musica, poi le Parole" (Salieri)

"... In the beautiful hall of the Freimaurerloge zur Einigkeit, ..., Iz Maglow had built in a stage design that strongly reminded of Russian Constructivists, such as Malevitch. ..." Südwest Radio SWF II, 1988 about "Prima la Musica, poi le Parole" (Salieri)

"... the stage design of Iz Maglow deliberately breaks the neo-baroque ambience in the ballroom of the Freimaurerloge zur Einigkeit. An asymmetrically constructed stage box marks the room, the playing surface. All entrance and exit are visible. Thus the staging gains transparency, the play becomes aware presented as a game in the game ..." Hessian Radio HR II, 1988 about "Prima la Musica, poi le Parole" (Salieri)

"... the stage set, in the form of a cinema wide screen, and the costumes are at first black, white and gray, with the gradual arrival of colors, clothing and lighting becoming more colorful and extravagant, and the opera ends like an exploded paint box ..." Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. 1989 about "La Cambiale di Matrimonio" (Rossini)

"The stage designer Iz Maglow managed to give the small, flat stage space, depth, color and mood – all in all a performance in the idiosyncratic, extravagant, carefree and yet accurate style that one expects from the chamber opera. ..." Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. 1989 about "La Scala di Seta" (Rossini)

"... the stage design of Iz Maglow with its light colors and "living sculptures" testifies to Italian lightness. ..." Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. 1993 about "Il Matrimonio Segreto" (Cimarosa)