In the Wings

Backstage glimpses with Boston Lyric Opera

"Dutchman" Sets Sail on Sea of Yellow Boots

Apr 22, 2013 1:22:00 PM
By John Conklin

BLO Artistic Advisor, John Conklin, 
gives us a sneak peek at his costume design for  
The Flying Dutchman:
We use over 100 rubber boots in this production-- 
both for male and female working (and  partying!) outfits.
This photo of 19th Century Scottish workers was the evocative source for
the women's costumes in the so-called "Spinning Scene." We have
diverged somewhat from Wagner's specifics as our female Chorus are
engaged in what is more a fishing village task; gutting and grinding up
And speaking of fish-- we've made over 100 of these slippery little creatures. 

They are black "satin-like" forms filled with sand and sprayed with silver.

Costume Sketch by John Conklin
But it is not grim work all the time. There is a party (of sorts) during which the ladies discard their dark, rubber aprons and don an almost flamboyant range of patterned blouses and skirts. 
Costume works-- the excellent shop that builds BLO's costumes-- estimates that these costumes employ over 75 different patterned materials.

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