Inside the Costume Shop: Don Carlo

Our 2018/19 season is a little less than a month away and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion is buzzing with excitement; the set is loading in, the corridors are once again filled with opera singing, and we took our regular trip to the costume shop to show you how they’re coming along. Our costumers are putting the finishing touches on the costumes that you’ll see on the stage come Sept. 22.

Arya Roshanian/LA Opera

Arya Roshanian/LA Opera

Originally composed by Verdi for a commission from the Paris Opera, this four-act grand opera was last performed by LA Opera in the fall of 2006, a production that was built in our own house. The set stands tall from floor to ceiling and the dark blacks and reds look stunning underneath the lights — can you imagine Morris Robinson’s Grand Inquisitor costume as he moves across the stage, especially with a train like that?!

The title role, sung by tenor Ramón Vargas, will be donning (pun intended) rich blacks and luxurious gold to highlight the prince’s aristocracy.

But not everything in Don Carlo is about opulence! One of our costume workers spent the day distressing a pair of linen trousers, reminiscent of the Renaissance Era’s class division, as those who were working class frequently dressed in materials like linen to stay cool during the work day.

King Philip has one of the most extravagant costumes, with a long golden train sweeping behind him. The ruff collar of the king’s costume extends well beyond the shoulders while the front consists of exorbitant jewelry, no doubt to showcase the wealth of the King of Spain.

The most surprising of the costumes would definitely have to be the mock Grim Reaper… or dementor if you’re a Harry Potter fan. The costumers did a wonderful job of making said costume look both realistic yet creepy. We, of course, won’t spoil the ending for you, but let’s hope Don Carlo isn’t in for a Dementor’s Kiss.

For more information or to purchase tickets for Don Carlo, click here.

All photos courtesy of Arya Roshanian/LA Opera.

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