How Vintage Accessories Transformed Theater Experiences

source: eBay

Have you ever recall when you first used a pair of opera glasses at a live show? It could have been in school, perhaps, when on a trip to the ballet, or with your family at the opera and someone handed you these tiny, beautiful opera glasses to watch the stage. These made the performers’ faces and the details of their costumes stand out, changing the way you saw the performance and allowing you to better appreciate the performance. This is a memory that many, if not all, can relate to in this generation and the generations prior to this one.

Opera glasses, which are small and elegant in design, became useful during the peak of the opera and theater in the 19th century. It was to provide better view of the stage and also acted as a sign of class and royalty. Commonly coming with a three to five fold magnification, these eyepieces were ideal for the enclosed space of a theater, where each crease of the actor’s face and each aspect of the costume design had to be seen.

source: eBay

Opera glasses appeared at the same time as the reign of opera and ballet when people eagerly waited for performances. These glasses were not simple props; they were props that added to the dramatics of the performance and the experience of the audience. The designs of the cuffs were initially done in leather and brass but later on upgraded to incorporate more complicated and attractive features such as mother-of-pearl, silver and even gold; this was to coincide with the different styles of the age from the Victorian style to the Art Nouveau style.

Today, these old opera glasses are collected by people who have interest in the old and also by historians. It is a great piece of art that depicts the memories of the past and the two pairs narrate the history of being worn at the Met or La Scala. It is for this reason that collectors look for pieces which not only depict excellent workmanship but also have that element of the past attached to it.

source: Etsy

Thus, opera glasses are not just a means of a better view of the stage, but the window into the historical social and cultural values. They take us back to the era when going out in the evening was a special event, and they still occupy a special niche among the treasures that tell about the people’s passion for art and theatre. Come with us and commemorate this connection that still makes us feel the atmosphere of the theatre from the times gone by and keep the tradition of using opera glasses.