WATERVILLE — As part of its new high-definition programming, the Waterville Opera House will present “Manet: Portraying Life” at 10 a. m. Wednesday.

The exhibition/film includes more than 50 works, with masterpieces such as “Music in the Tuileries,” “Olympia,” “Luncheon on the Grass” and”The Railway,” all assembled by the Royal Academy of Arts for its exhibit in London. The film reveals these pieces through host Tim Marlow and expert guests who examine the work of one of the all-time greatest artists, Edouard Manet. The film also depicts exclusive behind-the-scenes moments of the Royal Academy’s exhibition preparation in London — moments usually hidden from view — and interweaves a detailed, superbly crafted biography of Manet and 19th-century Paris.

Manet’s engagement with portraiture has never been explored in an exhibition form, despite it forming around half of his artistic output. Manet painted his family, friends and the literary, political and artistic figures of his day, giving life not only to his subjects but also to Parisian society of the time. His portraiture includes his wife Suzanne Leenhoff, Antonin Proust, Emile Zola and Stephane Mallarme, and scenes from everyday life revealing Manet’s forward-thinking, modern approach to portraiture.

Works in the exhibit were gathered from collections worldwide including: Europe, Asia and the United States.

Tickets for the show are available for $15, $13.50 for seniors and $10 for students by visiting operahouse.org or calling 873-7000. Special arrangements for additional group showings and group pricing are also possible by contacting the Opera House.


A special evening for arts educators is also scheduled from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday in the main lobby of the Opera House, and clips from “Manet: Portraying Life” will be shown as part of this free reception. Art educators are asked to RSVP by Tuesday, Oct. 15.

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