Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Costumes for the Canadian Opera Company's Production of Tosca

Eszter Sümegi as Floria Tosca and Mikhail Agafonov as Mario Cavaradossi in the COC’s production of Tosca, 2008. Photo: Michael Cooper
It's no secret how much I love opera, especially if there are lavish period costumes to drool over and the Canadian Opera Company's upcoming production of Tosca promises to deliver some eye candy.

This opera by Puccini is set in Rome in the early 19th century and is considered one of the best-loved operas of all time. The fiery and passionate heroine, Tosca, tries to protect the man she loves from the chief of police, but finds herself caught in a web of corruption, lust and betrayal and ultimately commits an act of murder.  This COC production will showcase renowned Canadian soprano Adrianne Pieczonka.

Eszter Sümegi as Floria Tosca in the COC’s production of Tosca, 2008. Photo: Michael Cooper
The exquisite sets and costumes for the COC production were designed by Kevin Knight. There are 117 period costumes made for the 9 principals, 40 members of the COC Chorus, 20 members of the children’s chorus and 14 supernumeraries (the extras of the opera world). Each costume for the female cast members took between 12 to 32 metres of fabric. Six different kinds of fabric were used including cotton, silk, wool, leather, suede and linen, all of which would have been available in the 1800s. There were 25 metres of trim on Tosca's cape in Act II. It took 4 garment-makers 12 weeks to stitch costumes. And the most curious fact of all - 6 different kinds of blood were tested before finding one that washed out of the costumes the easiest!

Tosca runs for 14 performances on Jan. 21, 25, 29, 31, Feb. 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 16, 21, 23 and 25, 2012 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts and is sung in Italian with English SURTITLES™. I'm already looking forward to opening night!

Note: Photos were provided courtesy of the Canadian Opera Company and are subject to copyright.

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