Monday, August 30, 2010

One thing at a time: Subito RenFaire!

Now the Fringe play is over and done with, I can shift my focus back to my main areas of interest: opera and costumes!

My voice is skipping happily along as it usually does, which is especially good since rehearsals for this fall's production of Rigoletto have begun!

I get to be tossed around by a few principals during the first act, and then dropped on the floor in a comical manner and forgotten about. I'm learning many interesting facts about royal courts in the 1600s, when our production is set. Men like the Duke of Mantua could decide to have an orgy to celebrate Tuesday, and the diritto feudale (ou le droit de seigneur) was in its prime, so with relative ease the Duke could treat said orgy as a feast for every sense, in every sense, as he'd already had a good deal of fun with most of the women in attendance. For the sheer novelty of it, now seems as good a time as any to seduce your jester's virginal daughter, no?

Anyway, I'm getting a bit carried away with the prose, here. The ball scene in Act I will be played as a masked ball, and I've decided to help develop my chorusey character by purchasing my own mask to match the costume I've been fitted for (alas, I've had no time to make my own). I've been thinking of adding lace or tulle around the top for a bit of extra flair (the character would like it so), but that might carry it over the top. I'll experiment with it.

The erstwhile corset of last July is still in production, but at the second to last step! I only have to add the bias tape and grommets, and it's ready to debut. Not a moment too soon, either. This Labor Day weekend, the yearly party I attend will be renaissance-themed. After singing an aria for the group two weeks ago that was received unimaginably well, I feel like I'm on a roll. I'd love for my costume to make a good impression. Also, I find deadlines to be a wonderful incentives to finish something quickly.

It's reversible!

I'm going to modify the design slightly, and combine two separate Simplicity patterns to make a fully-boned corset with detachable "sleeves." Everything will lace together with grommets, and interchangeable with other pieces made from the same or similar patterns, in case I want to do something more "harlequin" in the future.

I'm aiming to design an entire outfit that will be ready to wear to the faire in Tuxedo, NY before it closes, which I think will be on Sept. 20th. I planned to make the corset (with straps/sleeves), a matching skirt, and possibly a simple blouse if I can't find a cheap one. While wandering around the garment district today, however, I was forced to change my plans when I encountered a gorgeous, 1.5yd remnant of dark green wool crepe. There wasn't enough for a full cape, but it's perfect for a capelet, maybe even one with a hood (if I can figure those blasted things out).

So, a list of my costume pieces:
- Capelet (green, woolly)
- Corset (sleeves optional)
- Skirt (to match corset)
- Leather bracers (with the aid of grommets)
- Leggings (I think I have a pair somewhere)
- Boots (fancy, leather, waterproof, already mine)
- Jewellery (to be crafted)
- Belt (made of tassels) (More on that later.)
- Small satchel (to coordinate with the belt, possibly out of the green wool)

I think that's the largest single costuming task I've ever set for myself, or bothered to plan ahead of time. Gasp! I think I stand a chance of finishing it all, which would be fantastic for so many reasons. I'd always thought of doing something baroque first, but a Renaissance/Medieval woman of a generally unsavory character (part pirate, part cutpurse) is a fine first step into semi-serious costuming.

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