This dramatic oil painting is the result of many years of drawing and painting, on-stage and back-stage, dancers, singers and actors in performance. Halliday is the most accomplished artist working in this field today. He works without a camera. Instead he catches the atmosphere of the performance 'on the wing' in a series of fast, bravura ink drawings. This produces the spontaneous virtuoso and calligraphic line which is immediately identifiable as 'Halliday'.
This particular oil painting shows opera singers (from 'Carmen') and ballet dancers (from 'La Sylphide') backstage at the same time. It happens during a Gala evening when opera and ballet are both performed in a series of extracts or 'Divertissements'. In the present painting, performers are either preparing to 'go on', or are watching the performance on the stage from the 'wings' at each side of the stage where they cannot be seen by the audience.