Parlando: The COC Blog

9/1/2010

Costume Sketches from Death in Venice


If you love period costumes, click over to Fashion is My Muse to view Richard Hudson's costume sketches for our upcoming Death in Venice. The opera is set at the end of the Edwardian era, and the broad hat brims, high collars, and bouffant sleeves characteristic of women's fashions from the period are in evidence, particularly in the first image of the hotel guest. For the men, look for curled moustaches, three-piece suits (which in the period were taking over from the frock coat), and sharply creased pants (the trouser press had only been recently invented).

For this production, the majority of the costumes are black and white, in keeping with the minimalist nature of the sets and direction. Note in particular the image of Apollo and Dionysus, who figure in von Aschenbach's dreams and have represented the dichotomy of reason vs. passion to many philosophers and artists (most famously to Nietzsche in The Birth of Tragedy). Here, too, they are presented as opposed: black tie and trousers for Dionysus, and an entirely white suit for Apollo. As one commenter on Fashion is my Muse puts it: "Dionysus looks like he just left an amazing party."

After you look at the sketches, take a look at the photographs from the production to get a sense of the total effect. Below is a photograph of the Polish family as they appeared in the 2009 Opéra national de Lyon mounting of this production: the mother opulently dressed with an elaborate hat, the governess much more simply attired, and the young boy Tadzio (the focus of von Aschenbach's obsession) in a three-piece suit. Our performers are now being fitted for the costumes, and we're very excited to see what they'll look like on stage at the Four Seasons Centre.

Costume sketch: © 2007 Richard Hudson. Photo: © 2009 Bertrand Stofleth.

Posted by Cecily Carver / in 2010/2011 / comments (0) / permalink


Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001