by Kelly Ferjutz
Special to ClevelandClassical.com
The importance of costumes in theater or opera is easy to determine. Just think of how often a brief glimpse of a costume can not only tell you when the action is taking place, but frequently where as well. Think of The Mikado, for instance, or more recently, Brigadoon or My Fair Lady. But those costumes don’t just appear like magic.
Oh, no. There are numerous meetings with the other technical staff of the production in addition to Costume Design. Among these are Set and sometimes Prop Design, Lighting Design, more rarely Sound Design, plus the Stage Director, Choreographer, Stage Manager and Conductor. All of these people have an interest in how the production will both look and sound to an audience. Depending on the size of the show, these meetings may begin as much as a year in advance of opening night.
Obviously, I Do! I Do! (the famous two-person, one-set musical of 1966) isn’t nearly as demanding or complex as Phantom of the Opera, but either of them could easily have been ruined by a lack of proper attention to the necessities. For the former, that meant two nightgowns and a huge bed. For the latter, it seemed like half the population of Paris was onstage at times. [Read more…]