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Opera Costume Sale at the Garnier

According to an article (Les soldes fastueux de l'Opéra, November 17) by Ariane Bavelier in Le Figaro, the Opéra national de Paris put up 7,000 opera costumes for sale to the public last weekend, a huge yard sale in the Grand Foyer of the Palais Garnier (my translation):

"I love this Faust costume: I am going to wear it for my son's wedding," says one man, apparently not worried about any possible bad luck from that opera, as he claimed a dark suit, vintage 1900. And then a scream as he discovers the label sewn into the inside of the back: "This was Villazón's!" Because here, beneath the gold of the Grand Foyer, the 500 people let in every hour and a half to gather around garment racks are all opera lovers. Half of the tickets for the sale (8 €) were bought by subscribers, who were limited to three costumes per person. Only members of the Association pour le rayonnement de l'Opéra de Paris had the right to buy as many costumes as they wanted. Some will wear them to AROP soirées, others to costume balls.

"I spent 17,000 € yesterday and convinced a girlfriend to give me her ticket for today," says a surgeon who explains that he already has forty-some costumes in his home, exhibiting them in alternation on four dummies in his living room. In the middle of the floor, a woman in bra and underwear tries on a dress for Manon and contemplates herself in the golden mirrors, where the 18th-century dresses have the most beautiful effect. To hell with modesty! There are no dressing rooms, and singers never have the same shape. Necessity makes the rules.
The 7,000 costumes come from 25 productions that will never be shown again in Paris. The company expects to make 300,000 €, as well as saving considerably on the cost of storing old costumes.


Anonymous said...

crise? quelle crise?! :-)

Taylor said...

ohhh my. wish i lived in paris on wednesday!!