Since 2012, Swarovski has brought its signature sparkle to the world-renowned Salzburg Festival in a series of costume collaborations. Each year, gowns worn by opera singers on stage glitter with hundreds of thousands of crystals, bringing characters in classic operas such as Medea and Jedermann to life. In 2019, the costumes worn by renowned opera singer Anna Netrebko in the opera Adriana Lecouvreur were embellished with over 140,000 crystals. This stunning stage-wear was the handiwork of Jan Meier, head of the costume department at the Salzburg Festival.
Dating back to the 1950s, Swarovski has provided the Vienna Opera Ball with crystals for the dazzling tiaras that crown the ball’s debutantes. With both parties sharing a rich Austrian cultural heritage, it’s the ideal creative collaboration for all involved. In recent years Swarovski has worked with top international fashion designers such as Karl Lagerfeld and Donatella Versace to create beautiful headpieces for the young women as they make their debut.
When the world’s best ballet dancers take the stage, they have often turned to Swarovski crystal to bring theatrical glamour to their tutus. Swarovski partnered with the American Ballet Theatre for the 2017 Spring Gala as well as for the company’s production of Mark Ryden’s Whipped Cream. This collaboration took the form of 80,000 crystals used in the set and costumes of the production, as well as two incredible bespoke crystal trophies created for the gala.
Swarovski has also lent sparkle to Ballet Black, the award-winning company dedicated to diversifying classical ballet. In 2016 costume designer Yann Seabra used over one thousand Swarovski crystals to bring glitter to tutus, bodices and tiaras for the world premiere of Cristaux at the Barbican Centre in London. As Seabra noted, the addition of Swarovski crystal gave the dancers the sparkle needed to convey the story in all its glory.
As part of a long-running collaboration with the French designer Christian Lacroix, Swarovski crystal has also graced the stage at the Opéra de Paris Ballet on several occasions, including costumes for La Source in 2011 and A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2017. For the latter, a ballet by George Balanchine, 210 costumes and 90 hair ornaments, tiaras and crowns were created using nearly one million Swarovski crystals. Working closely with the gifted artisans of the Palais Garnier’s historic couture ateliers, tutus and lace bustiers were hand-embroidered and embellished with Swarovski crystals, beads and pearls.
Through the Swarovski Foundation, Swarovski also provides support for the creative arts and sites of cultural heritage around the world. Since 2016, the Foundation has supported the Burgtheater, the Austrian National Theater, by providing scholarships and free tickets to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. And at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the Swarovski Foundation has provided two artists with the opportunity to create new work within a space at the contemporary art museum. It’s through programs such as these, that Swarovski can help a new generation of artists and creatives to reach shining new heights.