January 1 – 10
While in Sydney again, Barry Kay takes the last shots for the publication of the city’s community of transvestites and transsexuals [henceforth: T&T]. There he also approaches the Australian Centre for Photography, proposing the idea of an exhibition to coincide with the Australian release of T&T later this year. The Centre shows a keen interest and takes steps in planning the event.
Winter – Spring – Summer
Upon his return to London, Kay continues producing the final photographic prints for the platemaking, prepares the layout and writes the preface to the forthcoming publication of T&T. After much consideration, he finally submits the title of his documentary – As a Woman. Following considerable debate between the British and the American publishers, it is decided to release the English language editions under two different titles – As a Woman (American edition, St. Martin’s Press, New York) and The Other Women (Anglo-Australian edition, Matthew Miller Dunbar, London). The German publisher is following suit by opting for the translation of The Other Women – Die anderen Frauen (German edition, Verlag Dieter Fricke, Frankfurt; Austrian distribution in autumn of this year, Swiss distribution in January 1977)1.
The State Library of New South Wales / Mitchell Library, who last year purchased of a number of silver gelatin photographs of Kay’s stage and costume designs, is acquiring a collection of 72 of his working drawings relating to the three-act version of Anastasia, created for Kenneth MacMillan and The Royal Ballet, 1971.
February 2 – 3
Kay meets Kenneth MacMillan in Stuttgart for discussions on designing and staging a new production of the original Berlin one-act version of Anastasia for The Stuttgart Ballet.
February 4 – March 3
In London Kay redesigns the maquette for Anastasia.
March 4 – 5
Brief trip to Stuttgart to deliver the maquette for Anastasia.
March 31 – April 14
Final visit to Stuttgart, supervising the making of set and costumes for Anastasia, with an intermediate stay in London to attend to the German translation of his preface to As a Woman.
Première of Anastasia; ballet; assignment sets, costumes, properties and special effects; new staging of the original one-act version from Berlin; choreography Kenneth MacMillan; the Stuttgart Ballet; Württembergische Staatstheater, Staatstheater Stuttgart.
October 18 – 31
Launch of the Anglo-Australian edition of The Other Women in conjunction with an exhibition, showing a selection of photographs contained in this volume; The Photographers’ Gallery, Soho, London.
October 24 – November 22
On a return visit to Sydney Kay prepares and sets up an exhibition of photographs from The Other Women.
Launching of the Australian release of the The Other Women, distributed by Bookwise, Sydney.
November 23 – December 11
Exhibition of selected photographs of the The Other Women; its opening coincides with the Australian release of the publication; the exhibition is accompanied by a poster featuring two portraits on show; Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney.
November 24 – December 31
For the remainder of the year, and into January 1977, Kay stays in Australia and devotes himself to his next photographic enterprise – the Tea and Sugar Train2, another socio-anthropological documentary, at the same time attending to the Ocker project.
December 2 – 16
At a promotional Christmas fair and sale, held in Kay’s absence at The Photographers’ Gallery in Soho under the auspices of twelve London publishers, including Matthew Miller Dunbar, he once more exhibits photographs of The Other Women.
Throughout the year
Periodically, Kay lectures at the Slade School of Fine Art, London, and continues with his engagement at the Croydon College of Design and Technology; subjects include “Constructivists and the Theatre” and The Other Women / As a Woman / The Other Women / Die anderen Frauen (photography).
January 1 – 9
Wrapping up the photographic exhibition in Sydney before returning to Europe.
Launching of the Swiss distribution of Die anderen Frauen, combined with book signing at a photographic exhibition of individuals featured in this publication; under the auspices of Fotostiftung Schweiz at Galerie Palme, Zürich.
Following the publication of The Other Women, Kay intends making a film based on the same subject. Investigating beyond the all-male reviews, namely a multi-layered society of female impersonators, transvestites and transsexuals, the film is to document in depth four or five subjects who are representative of each group to examine the difference in their life styles. Rather than a dramatized film, he envisages a full-length feature, principally for screening in Australia, and a shortened 50-minute documentary for release to European and American television networks, as well as university and video outlets. Kay prepares a written presentation of the project, yet, for reasons unbeknown to the Archive, it never materializes.
Spring – Summer – Autumn
Kenneth MacMillan invites Kay to design the sets and costumes for the existing production of Solitaire, to be performed by the Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet in London in 19783.
Kay substancially revises his set and costume designs of the 1966 production of Don Quixote for the revial at the Wiener Staatsopernballett (since 2010 Wiener Staatsballett), State Opera House, followed by frequent trips to Vienna to oversee the workshops and dressmaking department.
First night of the revival (Wiederaufnahme) of the 1966 production of Don Quixote; ballet; assignment revised scenerey, costumes and properties; choreography Rudolf Nureyev (after Marius Petipa); Wiener Staatsopernballett; State Opera House, Vienna.
End of 1977
The British Journal of Photography Annual 1978 publishes a photograph, or a selection of photographs, of socio-anthropological contents created by Barry Kay; 118th edition; Geoffrey Crawley (ed.), Henry Greenwood & Co, London, 1977; ISBN: 090041412X.
February 28 – March 25
Exhibition of selected photographs from The Other Women; PPS Galerie FC Gundlach4, Hamburg, Germany.
March 18 – 21
Attending Amsterdam Tattoo Convention for projected photographic documentary of Body and Façade, later renamed by Kay to Changing Bodies.
Première of Solitaire; ballet; assignment sets and costumes; choreography Kenneth MacMillan; Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet, The Royal Ballet’s second company; Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London.
July 6 – September 30
Exhibition of stage and costume designs for various productions; Decor Gallery, Knightsbridge, London. At this exhibition the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) / Theatre Collections acquires the maquettes for the three-act version of Anastasia, Act I, and for Solitaire.
Barry Kay records in his diary: «Kenneth [MacMillan], who attended the exhibition’s opening party, walked straight up to me saying: “You’re designing Isadora – it’s for 1980, in two acts, and you know who’s going to be Isadora.” Not a minute later Lynn Seymour came through door…» – Eventually, the ballet is scheduled for spring 1981, however, with Merle Park in the leading role.
First Night of the revival of Anastasia, three-act version; ballet; The Royal Ballet; Royal Opera House London.
Revival of Don Quixote; ballet; assignment revised sets, costumes and properties of 1966 production; choreography Rudolf Nureyev (after Marius Petipa); Wiener Staatsopernballett (today Wiener Staatsballett); State Opera House, Vienna.
Gala Premières of The Four Seasons / Les Quatre Saisons and Métaboles, presented as parts of a triple bill; genre ballet; assignment sets, costumes, properties and special effects; choreography Kenneth MacMillan; occasion “Soirée de MacMillan”; Ballet de l’Opéra National de Paris; Théâtre National Opéra de Paris, also known as Palais Garnier.
Throughout the year
Lecturing periodically at the Croydon College of Design and Technology; subjects include “Design and Music” and “The Beggar’s Opera”.
March 9 – 18
Informative trip to Morocco together with Kenneth MacMillan and his wife Deborah.
Kay publishes a mezzotint cum lithograph, a limited edition of fifty prints, depicting his set design for Kenneth MacMillan’s ballet Métaboles; Ballet de l’Opéra Paris; Théâtre National Opéra de Paris, premièred in 1978. [ibid]
March 20 – April 17
Participating in an exhibition of “Four MacMillan Designers”; Decor Gallery, Knightsbridge, London.
April 9 – 16
Kay returns to Morocco for further studies.
Official invitation by Kenneth MacMillan to design the sets and costumes for his new ballet Isadora, scheduled for 1981, Kay begins extensive research on the life of Isadora Duncan.
July 17 – August 29
In Hollywood Barry Kay explores the possibility of holographic imagery for the drowning scene in the last act of Isadora5.
On this occasion, at the world’s first female bodybuilding contest, Kay is capturing his initial series of photographs for his projected socio-anthropological documentary entitled Changing Bodies. The subject encompasses the most diversified aspects of human body modification and beautification. In his pursuit of images depicting tattooing and piercing he meets Alan Oversby, who introduces him to Richard Simonton, aka Doug Malloy. Simonton paves the way to Jim Ward, Cliff Raven and Jack Preston – all icons in their respective fields6.
Under the aegis of the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz, the parent organization of Berlin state museums, the Galerie Jebenstraße acquires Barry Kay’s spectacular model for The Sleeping Beauty, designed for the ballet of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, 19677.
Kay is chosen by Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), Cologne, for a television documentary, a professional portrait about his work and engagements. At a meeting in London with WDR’s Executive Director of Arts, Wibke von Bonin, he is introduced to the cinematographers and producers Eila Hershon and Roberto Guerra who, for the next couple of years, are following him around at home and abroad to film the sequences.
‘The Sunday Times’ publishes Kay’s photographic feature of Women Bodybuilders. The feature is syndicated and appears in the German magazine ‘Bunte’ (issue: week 1, 1980), in the French magazine ‘Photo’ (issue: February 1980), and in the South African press.
January 23 – March 5
To get inspired by the genius loci of what was once part of Isadora Duncan’s world, Kay returns to Hollywood where he is setting up a temporary studio to explore initial ideas for the various scenes and settings of Isadora.
May 1 – 11
In Athens Kay is mounting two exhibitions, one of his theatrical works, the other of his photographic creations.
May 5 – 23
Concurrently running exhibitions – selection of stage and costume designs for productions since 1967; Contemporary Graphics Gallery, Athens – selection of photographs from The Other Women and Women Bodybuilders; the British Council Gallery, Athens.
June 5 – 15
Revisiting the Deutsche Oper Berlin in Germany with the cinematographers Eila Hershon and Roberto Guerra, who are shooting sequences for the documentary on Kay; interview with ballet director Gert Reinholm about the making and staging of The Sleeping Beauty in 1967.
August 7 – 13
For further research on Isadora Duncan Kay returns to California. There, Nancy van Norman Baer, Curator of Theater and Dance at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, arranges with the de Young Museum (M.H. de Young Memorial Museum) a private viewing for Kay: he is provided access to Loïe Fuller’s original, 15m long costume she wore for the Butterfly Dance at the Folies Bergère, Paris, in 1896. Kay intends replicating the costume for Laura Connor in the role of Loïe Fuller in Kenneth MacMillan’s Isadora. The occasion gets documented by cinematographers Eila Hershon and Robert Guerra.
August 13 – 25
In Los Angeles Kay continues shooting images for his photographic documentary Changing Bodies.
September 12 – 22
In Paris, on behalf of the Royal Opera House, Kay personally selects and purchases the fabrics for some of the costumes for the ballet Isadora.
November – December
Participation in an exhibition entitled “Christmas Entertainments” at the Decor Gallery, Knightsbridge, London; the show includes, among others, costume designs for the ballets The Sleeping Beauty (Ballett der Deutschen Oper Berlin, 1967) and Solitaire (Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet, London 1978).
Publication of “Designing for the Dancer”; a unique collaboration between three expert ballet historians – Roy Strong, Ivor Guest, Richard Buckle – and two leading stage designers – Barry Kay and Liz Da Costa; foreword by Alicia Markova; Kay contributes the essay “On Designing for Ballet Today”; paperback, ilustrated, 116 pages; publisher Elron Press, London, 1981.
ISBN-10: 0904499111, ISBN-13: 9780904499117.
At The Royal Ballet School in London Kay is taking his own series of still photographs of dancers wearing the costumes he designed for Isadora. The photographs will appear in a feature about the making of this ballet, written by Charles Spencer, and to be published in ‘The Sunday Times Magazine’ to coincide with its forthcoming première.
For their permanent collection the V&A / Theatre Collections acquires Kay’s costume design for Isadora in a red scarf.
April 7 – July 26
The V&A / Theatre Collections invites Kay to participate in their exhibition of “50 Years of The Royal Ballet”. On display are a selection of set designs, including set models, costume drawings he created for The Royal Ballet, and an actual stage costume for the three-act version of Anastasia.
Publication of Isadora Dances Again; photographs by Barry Kay; author Charles Spencer; ‘The Sunday Times Magazine’, London (issue: April 26, 1981).
April 29 – May 16
Exhibition of set and costume designs for Isadora; Exhibition Hall, Liberty’s, Regent Street, London.
Première of Isadora; ballet; assignment sets, costumes, properties and special effects; projections, movie animation; choreography Kenneth MacMillan; The Royal Ballet; The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London.
June 22 – 30
Kay supervises the staging of sets and costumes for Isadora at The Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, New York.
First night of Isadora; ballet; assignment sets, costumes, properties and special effects; projections, movie animation; choreography Kenneth MacMillan; The Royal Ballet on tour; Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, New York.
Summer – Autumn
For next year’s Holland Festival, entitled “Muziektheater”, Kay begins creating a set and costumes for the Nederlandse Opera. The set is used to serve two operas – Mirrors of the Truth and The Tell-Tale Heart – for double-billed performances. The work continues into the following year.
February – March
Attending to costumes and sets of the 1969 production of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg for the revival at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Concurrently lecturing at the Croydon College of Design and Technology.
First night of the revival of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg; opera; assignment sets, costumes and properties; production Rudolf Hartmann; The Royal Opera; The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London.
Grenada TV, UK, is airing the entire production of Isadora.
April – June
Repeatedly, Kay travels to Amsterdam to oversee the making of the set and costumes for Mirrors of the Truth and The Tell-Tale Heart. During final rehearsals he takes his own photographs of Performers and stage settings, some of them are published in the Netherlands daily press.
World premières of Mirrors of the Truth and The Tell-Tale Heart; operas; assignment sets, costumes and properties; direction Jan Bouws; De Nederlandse Opera Stichting (now: De Nederlandse Opera), Amsterdam; ‘Muziektheater’, Holland Festival; première venue HOT Theater, Den Haag; first night venue Festival Stage, Tent, Frankendael Park, Amsterdam, on June 17.
Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR – TV-3) televises the documentary made about Kay and his professional life under the title “Barry Kay – Begegnung mit einem Bühnenbildner” / “Barry Kay – Portrait of a Stage Designer”; executive editor Manfred Gräter; producers Eila Hershon and Roberto Guerra.
August 7 – September 11
“In recognition of his important and influential work as a designer for the theatre” Kay is approached by the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, with the intention of acquiring a selection of his stage and costume designs. For further consultations and discussions he flies out to Australia. It emerges that the Gallery is interested in quite a substantial collection of his works, leaving their choice to him.
Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC-TV): Barry Kay is interviewed live about his work by host Robert Page for the weekly arts series ‘Sunday Spectrum’; the interview is aired in conjunction with the documentary “Barry Kay – Begegnung mit einem Bühnenbildner” / “Barry Kay – Portrait of a Stage Designer”, as well as sequences of the filming of Don Quixote.
September 12 – December 7
Upon his return from Australia, Kay begins compiling a well-considered selection of his designs for presentation to the National Gallery of Australia, encompassing the entire spectrum of his versatile artistic talent.
A delegation of the National Gallery of Australia visits Kay at his London studio to view the selected stage and costume designs. The Gallery acquires preparatory sketches and final drawings, 150 in all, for its collection of Theatre Art. They represents a cross selection of Kay’s work, spanning his entire career.
January – February
Intermittently, Kay lectures on theatre-related subjects at the Croydon College of Design and Technology.
The desings Kay collated for the National Gallery of Australia are shipped to Canberra. He donates the set model of The Four Seasons / Les Quatre Saisions, designed for the Ballet de l’Opéra National de Paris (1978), to the Gallery.
February 14 – 19
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) invites Kay to serve on the panel of jurors censoring six films for their quality of design.
February 24 – March 30
The Victorian Arts Centre [in 2003 renamed the Arts Centre], Melbourne, engages Kay to design four tapestries intended as permanent installations in one of the foyers of the newly built State Theatre, which is to open sometime in 1984. For briefing, discussions and advising on design suggestions he flies to Australia. The work involves extensive research throughout the rest of the year.
April – July
Designing costumes for The Dance of Death, Kenneth MacMillan’s first-ever drama direction.
September 10 – October 29
Kay participates in an exhibition of “Theatre Designs”, representing contemporary British talents; Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, England.
Première of The Dance of Death; drama; assignment costumes; sets Laurie Dennett; direction Kenneth MacMillan; selected cast; Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester.
Autumn – Winter
Kay starts designing the sets for Benjamin Britten’s opera Peter Grimes for the Victoria State Opera Company, Melbourne.
For the coccasion of the forhcoming Melbourne exhibition “The Creation of a Ballet” later this month, Kay publishes his edition of coloured, three-tone lithographs depicting Rudolf Nureyev in the costume of Basilio in Act I of the movie version of Don Quixote.
February 9 – March 19
Back in Melbourne Kay completes and presents his designs of the four commissioned tapestries to the Victorian Arts Centre. The committee’s evident lack of direction and artistic confidence result in repeatedly requested modifications to his designs. Apparently, having lost sight of their objective, the committee is unable to reach a unanimous decision to proceed further. Inconclusively, Kay returns to Europe8.
During this visit to Melbourne, The Australian Ballet Foundation, the legal entity of The Australian Ballet, assigns Barry Kay to provide new set designs for Don Quixote. Due to their excessive use, the currently staged sets, built for the 1970 Adelaide stage version, are more or less in tatters, can hardly be repaired and need to be replaced. To this end, discussions are taking place between Kay and The Australian Ballet, represented by Maina Gielgud, Artistic Director (1983-1997), and Noel Pelly, Administrative Director (1983-1991). The revival of the production is planned for 1986.
February 20 – April 29
Exhibition entitled “The Creation of a Ballet”, displaying Kay’s set and costume designs for the stage and movie versions of Don Quixote with the The Australian Ballet; included in the exhibition are designs on loan from the National Gallery of Australia which acquired them from Kay in 1982/83 , and some of the life-size costumes worn during performances; venue Performing Arts Museum, Victorian Arts Centre, Melbourne (now Arts Centre Melbourne). Coinciding with the occasion, the Museum publishes six of Kay’s costume drawings in postcard format. He donates a mezzotint-cum-lithograph of his set design for Métaboles to the Museum and the model of the movie version of Don Quixote to the The Australian Ballet Society.
March 17 – contract date
Peter Grimes; opera; assignment sets, costumes, properties and special effects; to be directed by John Copley; intended for the Victoria State Opera Company; to be performed at the State Theatre and under the auspices of the Victorian Arts Centre, Melbourne. – The first performance is to be given during the week beginning July 22, 1985. Later in 1984 or early 1985 the Victoria State Opera abandons the production. Kay gets as far as designing what appears to be a permanent set serving all acts9.
For the Australian Ballet’s revival of Don Quixote, to be staged in 1986, Kay submits seven vibrantly coloured sketches – one for each act and scene, respectively. In an accompanying letter, addressed to Gielgud, he writes: “I feel it would work well and make a good surround – formal enough to suit the existing costumes.” However, due to the Company’s “financial strictures” Kay’s new sets is not to be realized10.
April 18 – 19
Kay meets Kenneth MacMillan in Berlin for discussion with the board of management of the Deutsche Oper Berlin to revive the 1967 production of The Sleeping Beauty.
May 20 – 23
Further discussions with the Deutsche Oper Berlin regarding the revival of the 1967 production of The Sleeping Beauty.
September – October
As the Deutsche Oper Berlin is not forthcoming, Kenneth MacMillan is planning a completely new production of The Sleeping Beauty for American Ballet Theatre (ABT). He is asking Kay to provide affordably executable designs to ascertain ABT’s co-operation. In search of solutions in meeting such criterion Kay reinvestigates stage designs by Adolphe Appia, Cordon Craig and Léon Bakst.
October – December
Required to remain both cost-conscious and cost-effective, Kay devises a working model, or white model, for The Sleeping Beauty for ABT in the Secessionist style, accentuating clarity through simplicity.
November 29 – December 4
En route to New York, by way of Australia, Kay briefly stops over in Melbourne to attend family matters, as well as to submit to The Australian Ballet his proposed set designs for a revised stage production of Don Quixote. On this occasion he also makes an appearance at an exhibition showcasing some of his designs, and due to open near Melbourne tomorrow.
November 30 – January 31, 1985
Some of Barry Kay’s designs for the theatre are featuring at “Art and the Theatre in Victoria, 1844-1984”, a touring exhibition of public regional galleries of Victoria, Australia, showing works from their holdings of theatre art – a contribution to Victoria’s 150th Anniversary Celebrations; organized by Mornington Peninsula Arts Centre and Horsham Art Gallery; venue Mornington Peninsula Arts Centre. The exhibition is to tour other Victorian regional galleries throughout next year.
December 5 – 16
In New York, for the purpose of discussing and planning Kenneth MacMillan’s staging of the one-act version of Anastasia with ABT, Kay submits a recreated model for this ballet. In an effort of saving exorbitant production costs ABT strikes a deal with the Deutsche Oper Berlin to buy their set and costumes. The US première is scheduled for the spring of next year.
January 13 – 20
In New York, Kay liaises with American Ballet Theatre’s workshops, adjusting set and costumes for Anastasia, one-act version, bought from the Deutsche Oper Berlin.
March 2 – 19
Kay joins American Ballet Theatre in Los Angeles to supervise dress fittings and the setting up of the sets of Anastasia, one-act version.
Première of Anastasia, one-act version; ballet; assignment sets, costumes, properties and special effects; period newsreel projections; choreography Kenneth MacMillan; American Ballet Theatre; Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles.
Barry Kay unexpectedly dies in London. The founder-to-be of the Barry Kay Archive, Michael Werner, notifies Kenneth MacMillan and American Ballet Theatre of his death. Being familiar with the staging of Anastasia, Werner offers to continue Kay’s supervision of its mounting for the première scheduled to take place at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, at the end of the month.