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 Beni Montresor  (1926 - 2001)

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Lived/Active: New York / Italy      Known for: illustration of children's books, sets' design

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Beni Montresor
An example of work by Beni Montresor
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Biography from Battledore Ltd Gallery:
Born in 1926, in the village of Busolengo, Italy, Beni Montresor studied at an arts academy in Verona. After World War II, he worked in films for directors including Federico Fellini, Vittorio De Sica and Roberto Rossellini. His stage productions at the time included "The Madwoman of Chaillot" by Jean Giradoux and "Beatrice Cenci" by Alberto Moravia.

Montresor moved to New York in 1960; and his first opera design "Vanessa" by Samuel Barber, came that year.

His designs for The Metropolitan Opera included "The Last Savage", "La Gioconda", "Esclarmonde", "L‚Elisir d‚Amore" and "La Cenerentola" (Rossini's CINDERELLA). For New York City Opera, he designed "The Magic Flute", "Daughter of the Regiment", "Turandot", and "L'Amore de Tre Re". His Broadway designers include "Do I Hear a Waltz?" (1965), "Rags" (1986), and "The Marriage of Figaro" (1986), for which he received a Tony nomination.

Other designs included "Gwendoline" for the San Diego Opera (1982), "Lohengrin", "Werther" and "La Boheme" for Teatro Palermo, "Samson and Delilah" and "Iphigenia at Tauris" for Teatro Colon. He also directed operas, staging "La Verdova Allegra" for the Verona Opera Festival and "Falstaff" for La Societa dell‚ "Opera Buffa, Saffo" for the Wexford Festival, and "Madame Butterfly" for Teatro Massimo, Palermo; he also designed many of these productions.

Montresor was also a noted illustrator of children's books, winning the 1965 Caldecott Medal for "May I Bring a Friend?", written by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers. He often adapted his theatrical opera sets into picture-books for children and is remembered for his brilliant renderings of Hans Christian Andersen''s fairy tale THE NIGHTINGALE (1985) and the fairy tales of Oscar Wilde BIRTHDAY OF THE INFANTA.



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