Could this be the musical bargin of the century?
A retired opera director has closed his company and has begun selling it’s props and sets on eBay.
Schools, amateur dramatics societies, opera companies and individual enthusiasts are now just one online auction bid away from making their most elaborate theatre production dreams a reality!
As he heads into retirement, Peter Kroone has decided to close shop on the Companions Amsterdam opera company and has taken to eBay to flog it’s wares.
Kroone couldn’t find anyone to take his place at the company and so has chosen to end 20 years of producing operas and open the bidding for costumes, props and sets from just $1.
A site has been set up to showcase the productions up for sale, operaforsale.com, complete with video advertisements.
The only catch is that you have to buy everything, on a show by show basis.
For any groups out there wanting to put on a production of Carmen, for example, a winning bid will get you the company’s huge sets, including a factory wall, two balconies, a statue of the Madonna, a fountain, as well as small props such as tables and chairs, rifles and baskets.
Hundreds of costumes designed for Companions’ production are included as well as full scores to the operas.
Pyro-technical equipment for a fireplace (sure to be a hot deal) is among other items in the sale, with technical drawings for setting the scenes included.
So far, 16 bids have been made, with the top bid at $51, although the seller does state that “the artists, animals, local requirements, nuts and bolts” are not included in the sale.
The most popular lot among bidders is for a production of Aida. At $510 with seven days to go, buyers may not have noticed the size of the sets – the Companion’s production was put on in a stadium for a cast of 500 people.
Sets for Traviata and Nabucco are also for sale, as well as costumes for Rigoletto.
Explaining his reasons for selling productions on the website, Kroone said that “it would be a shame if the productions disappeared”.
“I am confident my successor will be able to captivate a whole new audience thanks to my materials and the current techniques and marketing strategies,” he added.
Do you fancy purchasing a cut-prize opera production? What show would you put on, and where? Is this the greatest musical bargin of all time or a sad ending to a great opera company?