Tuesday, October 1, 2013

What Smells Like A Dozen Famous Sopranos And Is Red All Over?

One King's Lane is currently running an auction of Metropolitan Opera memorabilia. Perhaps the most interesting item among the lot is a costume worn by a curious collection of divas that have sung the role of Elizabeth of Valois with the company over the last three decades, beginning with its original wearer Renata Scotto. A nice bargain of operatic history for only $4,999US and Halloween is just around the corner! 

A full image of the dress after the jump and be sure to check the tags at the end of this post to see the list of singers to wear the garment.

Click on the image to enlarge. You will see a detail of the tags sewn into the costume that designate some of the singers who wore it over the years. You can see sopranos wearing it here and here. Also watch the dress in action here.

"This elegant costume was created by Ray Diffen for the character of Elizabeth in the Metropolitan Opera’s 1979 production of Verdi’s Don Carlo. The designs are based on historical fashion as seen in original 16th and 17th-century court portraits by Alonso Sanchez Coello and Diego Velazquez. Made of red velvet, the costume was worn by Margaret Price and Aprile Millo, among others, for the Act III auto-da-fé. They were most recently used during the Met’s 2011 Japan tour. Sewn inside the costume are eleven Metropolitan Opera labels with hand-written notes designating the Opera, Act, and Name of each performer who wore the costume. Bust 30.5", waist 24", sleeve 25", length 73"."

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