Wednesday, 5 February 2014


All this is madness, cries a sober Sage:
But who, my friend, has reason in his Rage?
The ruling Passion, be it what it will,
The ruling Passion conquers reason still.
Less mad the wildest whimsey we can frame,
Than ev'n that passion, if it has no aim;
For tho' such motives folly you may call,
The folly's greater to have none at all.
– Alexander Pope ‘Epistle III. Of the Use of Riches. Moral Essays.’

If you had the chance to see Francesca Zambello’s production of Carmen last month at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, you will have seen the magnificent set and performances in this stunning show.

The beautiful gypsy Carmen warns any man who loves her to beware, but she does not foresee the fierce passion that she will unleash on Don Jose when she seduces him. This dramatic opera shows the destructive power of seduction that can lead men down the wrong path and cause them to lose everything.

The traditional costumes by Tanya McCallin are what bring the 19th century Seville to life in all its bustle and excitement. Zambello’s production has been a mainstay of The Royal Opera House calendar since 2006 and has never failed to captivate people each year so be sure to watch it next year!

At The Little Costume Shop, we are displaying our Carmen maquette in celebration of The Royal Opera House production. The corset is made from period textiles and contemporary woven silks. The underskirt is made from multiple shot silk strips, shaded into the waist and hem, and overlaid with distressed silk tulle. The shawl is made out of fine ‘turban’ cotton, printed with tiny sprigs, bordered with a hand knotted fringe of multi coloured strands. Her shoulder wrap is gossamer fine silk, printed with a subtle gold motif and fringed with ombreed shreds and an edging of 1920s gelatine sequins.

This work of art has been scaled down to perfection and will be sure to delight!

If you would like to see one of our costume miniatures up close make sure you see our ‘Queen of the Night,' which is currently on display at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in their front of house showcase.

Photograph by George Chinn

Vintage Carmen film poster

Vin's studio image

Photograph by Richard Wilding

The Royal Opera House - Carmen

Vin's studio image

Vin's studio image

Vintage gypsy

Carmen costume

Vin's studio image

1950's Carmen -  magazine cover 

Vin's studio pic

Photograph by Richard Wilding

Vintage gypsy adorned with jewels

Vin's studio pic

The Royal Opera House Carmen poster

Vintage gypsy draped in embroidered textiles

Vin's studio image

Vintage Carmen poster

No comments:

Post a Comment