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Victor Hugo: Les Misérables – From Page to Stage now open

Victor Hugo: Les Misérables – From Page to Stage, a world-first exhibition and the biggest ever staged by the State Library of Victoria, is now open.

The exhibition explores the 19th century origins of Victor Hugo’s greatest novel Les Misérables and examines his fascinating life and enduring influence as a writer, artist and political activist.

With remarkable loans from the Maison de Victor Hugo in Paris and Guernsey, the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the Musee Rodin and, for the first time, material from the Cameron Macintosh archives, the exhibition is of world significance for lovers of Les Misérables.

Victor Hugo’s original 1862 manuscript of Les Misérables is an exhibition highlight. The 945 page volume is a national treasure of France and a prized item in the Biblioteque Nationale de France collections. This is its first showing outside Europe.

Since its publication in 1862 Les Misérables has sold countless copies, been translated into 20 languages, adapted for cinema at least 50 times, and has inspired 3 major musical theatre productions. This exhibition explores the events that led to the story’s creation and how it has remained part of the popular consciousness for over 150 years.

Victor Hugo: Les Misérables – From Page to Stage  coincides with the Australian premier of Cameron Macintosh’s stage production of Boublil and Schönberg’s Les Misérables now showing at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne. Les Misérables is one of the most popular musicals of all time, seen by over 65 million people worldwide.

The exhibition goes behind the scenes of the musical with displays of original stage props, costumes and designs as well as interviews from composers, performers and costume and set makers. A selection of the costumes from the production are available for visitors to wear as they take to the stage for their own star performance.

A series of public events and schools programs complement the exhibition.

Victor Hugo: Les Misérables – From Page to Stage is developed and presented by the State Library of Victoria and exclusive to Melbourne.

 

Victor Hugo's manuscript of Les Misérables 1862

Victor Hugo’s manuscript of Les Misérables 1862

State Library welcomes new Creative Fellows – funds creative use of collections

The State Library of Victoria has announced the recipients of the 2014-15 Creative Fellowships, a program started eleven years ago to foster the creative use of the State Library’s collections and resources. Read the rest of this entry »

Cultural coup as Melbourne secures French national treasure

The original 1862 manuscript of Les Misérables, a French national treasure, is leaving Europe for the first time to be exhibited exclusively at the State Library of Victoria, Minister for the Arts Heidi Victoria announced today.

The 945 page volume will leave the Bibliothèque nationale de France to be exhibited in the world-first exhibition, Victor Hugo: Les Misérables From Page to Stage which opens July 17.

Ms Victoria said the loan of the manuscript was unheard of outside of Europe.

‘The loan of this manuscript to Melbourne is an act of enormous trust and generosity on behalf of the Bibliothèque nationale de France and the French people. It is also significant that the State Library of Victoria is the first institution outside of Europe that France has entrusted this great work to.’

Sue Roberts, State Library of Victoria CEO and State Librarian said it is an ‘amazing coup that the manuscript is coming to Australia.’

‘This remarkable manuscript has never travelled outside of Europe–never to New York, never to London–but this July it will be here in Melbourne. The exhibition it is featured in will be one of the jewels in the crown of exhibitions in Australia and also globally this year. It brings together many unique materials that have not been seen in Australia and others which have never been exhibited anywhere before, to reveal the birth and explosive success of one of the world’s great stories. For me and the millions of fans of Les Misérables around the world this is terrifically exciting.’

Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables is considered to be one of the greatest novels of the 19th century. The story follows the plight of downtrodden and dispossessed characters in Paris and culminates in the dramatic events of the 1832 June Rebellion.

Since 1862 Les Misérables has been translated into 20 languages, sold countless copies, has been adapted for cinema at least 50 times and is the foundation for three major musical adaptations, including the Cameron Mackintosh production of Boublil and Schönberg’s Les Misérables which has been seen by over 65 million people and is one of the most popular musicals of all time.

The exhibition coincides with the Australian premiere of Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed new production of new production of Boublil and Schönberg’s Les Misérables premiering at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne, in June 2014.

The original Les Misérables manuscript will be travelling en route from Paris via Dubai in its own lie-flat Business Class seat on board Emirates Airline, a major exhibition partner.

Tickets $15 adult, $12 concession, $42 family – on sale now through Ticketek.

For more information visit victorhugoexhibition.com.au

View video of this news via The Age.

Victor Hugo’s manuscript of Les Misérables 1862
Victor Hugo's manuscript of Les Misérables 1862

Victor Hugo’s manuscript of Les Misérables 1862

Victor Hugo's manuscript of Les Misérables 1862

Victor Hugo’s manuscript of Les Misérables 1862

 

 

 

 

 

State Library builds Rome for a day

The State Library will be transformed into a piece of Italy this Sunday at the free Viva l’Italia! family day.

The Italian festival is inspired by the Library’s latest exhibition: Rome: Piranesi’s vision and will feature an array of free activities, entertainment and culinary delights.

Viva l’Italia! echoes Italy’s centuries old tradition of La Scampagnata or picnic. There’ll be wonderful Italian food, music and dance as well as bocce on the lawn and printmaking and mask painting for children. It’s a little piece of Italy in the centre of Melbourne.

Festivities include life drawing of models dressed as Roman gods, a DJ spinning Italian ‘50s ‘60s tunes, pizza acrobatics, Lego monuments of Rome to build, folk music and sing-alongs with Italian women’s choir La Voce Della Luna.

One of the day’s highlights will be the free Italian and English tours of Rome: Piranesi’s vision, the Library’s premier exhibition showcasing the exquisite artworks of 18th Century Italian master printmaker Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720 – 78).

Come join us at Viva l’Italia! 11am-4pm, Sunday, April 13. Bookings are not required.

Full details here.

Ciao!

Viva L'Italia!

Viva L’Italia!

 

Inky Awards longlist announced

The 2014 Inky Awards longlist for peer-recommended, high quality young adult fiction has been announced by the Centre for Youth Literature (State Library of Victoria) at the Somerset Celebration of Literature festival in Queensland.

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Melbourne’s newest newspaper hits the streets Monday

This Monday The Melbourne Sirius will launch as Melbourne’s newest newspaper. It’s first edition will also be it’s last. The paper is a record of Melbourne’s rich newspaper history listing the name, birth date and death date of every defunct newspaper published in Melbourne between 1838 and now – all 525 of them.

Melbourne Sirius is an artist newspaper (a newspaper made as a work of art) produced by journalist, author and State Library creative fellow Rachel Buchanan during her 2013-14 fellowship.

Rachel discovered the Melbourne mastheads while examining an old State Library card catalogue. It is a remarkable and diverse list containing Welsh, Hebrew and Scandinavian papers – Greek sport only papers, abstinence papers, drug legalisation papers, surfing papers, music papers and many more all produced in central Melbourne. They give an extraordinary insight into the city’s past.

Rachel writes:

‘Melbourne Sirius appears at a historic moment; eight days after the publication of the last broadsheet version of The Age and two days after the launch of The Saturday Paper, a new weekly newspaper being published by Morry Schwartz. Even more significant, perhaps, is the closure of The Age’s print plant at Tullamarine at the end of March. From next month, The Age will be printed at Ballarat.

The paper invites readers to stop and contemplate what this moment might mean for them and for their city. It asks you to read slowly. What other moments are suggested by the long list of dead newspapers and the radical variety in the lifespan, purpose and tone of each of these papers?’

525 copies of Melbourne Sirius will be distributed by Rachel and her two daughters at significant newspaper sites around Melbourne.

Hand out times and places are as follows on Monday 3 March:

  • Herald and Weekly Times (corner Flinders Street and Exhibition Street): 11am – 12pm
  • Herald (Collins St, between Elizabeth and Swanston, outside Nespresso shop) 12.30-1.30pm
  • Argus (corner Elizabeth and La Trobe Streets) 2-3pm
  • Age (corner Spencer and Lonsdale Streets) 3.30pm-4pm
  • Age Media House (corner Collins and Spencer St) 4.30-5.30pm

Don’t miss out on your highly collectable copy of Melbourne newest newspaper.

Find out more.

Do you have a creative idea? The State Library Creative Fellowships are open for applications now.

'Melbourne Sirius' Design: Stephen Banham (Letterbox)

‘Melbourne Sirius’
Design: Stephen Banham (Letterbox)

Tickets on sale now for Library’s biggest-ever exhibition

Tickets are now on sale for Victor Hugo: Les Misérables – From Page to Stage, a world-first exhibition and the biggest to ever be staged at the State Library of Victoria.

Exclusive to Melbourne, the exhibition will take visitors on a journey from the 19th-century Paris of Victor Hugo’s novel – Les Misérables – to today’s blockbuster musical.

Featuring rare items from the collections of the Musée Rodin, Bibliothéque Nationale de France, Maison de Victor Hugo, Cameron Mackintosh Archive and others, the exhibition will cover a history of more than 200 years to tell the Les Misérables story from page to stage.

CEO and State Librarian, Sue Roberts, says the exhibition will combine traditional elements with interactive displays to give visitors a unique and immersive experience.

‘We will have a gallery that explores the life of Victor Hugo, the Paris of his day and the writing of his masterpiece and its many adaptations. There will also be an entire gallery dedicated to the musical with singing, an orchestra pit and even costumes from the production so visitors can dress up and take centre stage. It will be a really fun experience and people of all ages can get involved.’

Roberts says a partnership with leading British theatre producer Cameron Mackintosh has made the dedicated gallery possible and brings another dimension to the exhibition that will be of huge interest to fans of the book, musical and film.

‘This partnership means that for the first time fans will get to see original Les Misérables scripts, scores, costumes, set designs, posters, photographs and film. It will take them backstage and into the heart of this extraordinary production.’

Recognising the partnership Cameron Mackintosh said:

‘I am delighted to partner with the State Library of Victoria as it brings together a world-first exhibition that showcases the life of Victor Hugo, featuring his literary masterpiece Les Misérables.

‘For the first time items from our archive will be on display giving fans the opportunity to witness iconic moments from my production of Boublil and Schönberg’s phenomenal musical adaption of Hugo’s great novel since its sensational debut over 28 years ago. This is an exciting international exhibition that I’m sure you will not want to miss.’

Also featured in the exhibition will be original drawings and watercolours by Victor Hugo himself; a collection of rare historic photographs by prominent French photographer, Charles Marville, gifted to the State Library by the French government in 1887; original scripts, scores, designs and posters from the 1985 Royal Shakespeare Company production; and original costumes and designs from the cinematic portrayals of Les Misérables – including the 2012 film starring Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe  and Hugh Jackman.

The library has been working with a number of major institutions in France to secure literary treasures that have never left Europe. These will be announced closer to the exhibition.

A program of events and an education program for schools will complement the exhibition exploring themes of history, politics, French language and culture, literature and theatre, and connecting these with the curriculum.

The exhibition coincides with the Australian premiere of Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed new production of Les Misérables at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne, in June 2014. Les Misérables has been seen by over 65 million people worldwide in 42 countries and 22 languages, and is one of the most popular musicals of all time.

Victor Hugo: Les Misérables – From Page to Stage will be on display at the State Library of Victoria from 18 July until 9 November 2014.

Tickets are on sale now through Ticketek

  • Adult –$15
  • Concession – $12
  • Child (3-16) – $12
  • Family (two adults + 3 children) – $42
  • Group – $11 per person, min 10 people, +1 complimentary ticket for groups over 20
  • School group – $9 per student, minimum 10 people, +1 complimentary

Note: Ticket prices include GST and booking fees. Transaction fee applies.

For more information and exhibition updates go to www.victorhugoexhibition.com.au

victor-hugo-signature

ROME: Piranesi’s vision – a major exhibition of Italy’s master printmaker opens at State Library in February

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Take a break with a great Victorian book this summer

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Leave a condolence message for Nelson Mandela

Visitors to the State Library of Victoria are invited to leave a message of condolence for His Excellency Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

A special condolence book will be available near the Information desk in the Information Centre from 10am until 6pm each day until after the State Funeral is held in South Africa.