At the Feet of Opera

17 March–16 May 2016

„Opera od stóp do stóp” fot. Marcin ŁabuzStylized or contemporary, bizarre or conventional, sky-high and flat as a pancake, fit for a princess and for a horse. Shoes. We are holding an exhibition about shoes. 

At the Feet of Opera is another in a series of fashion-focused exhibitions of the Opera Gallery. For two whole months we will be showcasing at the Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera footwear designed for La Bohème, Boris Godunov, Don Giovanni, Cinderella, King Roger, Master Twardowski, The Wedding of Figaro, Wozzeck, or Das Rheingold and worn by the likes of Olga Pasichnyk, Izabella Kłosińska, Wanda Bargiełowska, Katarzyna Trylnik, Wioletta Chodowicz, or Rafał Bartmiński.

Part of the gigantic artistic and technical effort that each new premiere involves is realizing the costume designer’s vision re shoes as an integral part of each costume. And many of those need to be made to make a production happen. Sometimes as many as 100 pairs must be manufactured to outfit all the performers: from the leading soloist to the last extra. No matter how many there are, every single shoe is made to measure. Even it is meant for a horse, a doll, or a donkey. 

Molière shoes, platform shoes, jodhpur boots, poulaines, ancient sandals, riding boots, clogs, stilettos, galoshes – all the footwear we present has been created by the Warsaw opera house’s shoemakers. Meticulously made, ofter with sophisticated detailing, in rather extravagant colours, and of seemingly perplexing purpose, they provide an overview of past fashion trends and may facilitate a nice history lesson. After all, you need to know gone by modes to design costumes and footwear referencing the particular epoch.

During the exhibition’s opening hours, the opera’s shoemakers will be ready to repair your shoes, according to a price list provided. 


Organised by

Opera Gallery

Running time

17 March–16 May 2016


Opera Gallery is open from Thursday to Saturday, 10 am–5 pm.

During the Night of Museums the gallery will also be open from 7 pm to 1 am, while the selling point will operate only from 7 pm to 1 am. Enter through the pre-sales box offices lobby.