Costume cloakroom, Palais Garnier

On the 6th floor of the Opera Garnier, in the midst of fabrics, pearls and flowers, the sewing workshop makes the tutus and all the ballet costumes of the year. Craftsmanship where excellence meets ingenuity.

The scenography is based on a kaleidoscopic vision for an immersion in the world of the Paris Opera,intertwined, folded, reflected in mirrored slats that constantly offer the visitor the eye to reconstruct the image. In this universe, the scenography brings out a presentation of the different aesthetics that made the great moments of these establishments during the successive decades, through the realization of the costumes by the Workshops and the evolutions of techniques, style and materials. The costumes take place, as scientifically pinned in the light in the Opera Garnier.

In the end, the visitor evolves in the heart of the general movement of the kaleidoscope. It mixes and fragments on a large scale by a game of mirrors, the images of the brilliance and the gold of the Grand Foyer of the Palais Garnier, with the flight of the suspended balconies, luminous features of the great hall of the Opera Bastille. Costumes of different ballets, mixing the epochs, are in timed movement in this decoration. For young audiences, a mediation inspired, as a guiding thread, all the places and stages of the novel by Gaston Leroux “The Phantom of the Opera” in an unusual interactivity.

This is one of the best kept secrets. Behind the scenes of the Opéra de Paris, which brings together the Palais Garnier and the Opéra Bastille, nearly 200 craftspeople work day after day to design, manufacture or renovate sets and costumes. In all, more than 10 crafts are responsible, in the shadows, to design and ensure each show by bringing skills and rare skills of which the Paris Opera is the conservatory. Costume services collaborate on numerous annual productions; dressing, styling and makeup thousands of artists. They create, design, modify, retouch many thousands of costumes and create, wash and rehearse thousands of wigs and imagine hundreds of new ones; not to mention the hairpieces, mats, whiskers, beards and other whiskers. With, for each of these creations, the same challenge: to respect the requirements of each scenography and not to hinder the movements of the artists. Each achievement is therefore a unique challenge, raised under the impetus of the biggest.

Technical Challenges
The Paris Opera is a prestigious place for art craftsmen, shining French excellence in the world. It is to continue this exceptional craftsmanship that Stéphane Lissner, director of the Paris National Opera, has chosen to open to the art craftsmen the Academy, thanks to the financial support of the Foundation. Bettencourt Schueller and his expertise in the craft sector. The Academy allows the transmission of excellence know-how to 13 young recruits who will work for one year at the heart of the Costume, Wig-Makeup, Carpentry, Composite Materials, Tapestry and Design Office workshops.

Unique Device
The Academy is a place of residence for young artists at the beginning of their career: singers, musicians and directors but also craftsmen benefit from specific courses over a year. The crafts, under the impetus of the Foundation, are now integrated in the same way as other artistic disciplines. The Academy develops specialization courses for art graduates already graduated and offers them a unique superior training of excellence but also a place of dialogue and exchange. The Opéra National de Paris, guardian of valuable know-how, transmits the legacy of his house.

Retro elements
Stage costume over the years, discover a selection of costumes from many of the the Opera’s most representative productions.

For costume production, we realized anchored costumes in the XVIII th century. This requires a know-how specific to the designers of the Workshops who know at their fingertips the sartorial vocabulary of the different eras.

What is interesting about period costumes is not so much to look at a painting and to copy the clothes as you see them but to understand the logic and aesthetics of the clothing and to adapt it. We must of course respect an era, but we must also take into account the view of today’s viewer. The historical anchorage must be recognizable without the impression that the soloists are stuck in clothes that do not correspond to them. For that we respect the cuts of the time.

At the time of its publication, the sufferings of Goethe’s young Werther would have aroused such enthusiasm that the clothes of the characters would have profoundly influenced and defined the fashion of the second half of the eighteenth century.century: the long blue night jacket and the yellow vest of the eponymous hero were copied by all the young people of the time and became emblematic of the romantic aesthetic, more reason to remain faithful to this historical anchorage.

For example the binding corsages, but we treat them with a contemporary sensibility. We must also take into account what is the vision of the XVIIIe century proper to the director and the costume designer. If Goethe and Massenet’s Charlotte is adorned with pink ribbons, it is a coquettishness that Christian Gasc draws to be in keeping with the production of Benoît Jacquot who chooses the count to highlight the intimate drama of opera.. It is also not to clutter or blur the viewer. It is a pitfall that he avoids by his subtle treatment of hues, which is a constant in his work.

What makes the elegance of costumes imagined is rigorous work on colors. Chooses for each character a basic color and develops variations around it. It can gradually introduce elements to communicate different tones and moods while maintaining consistency.

Take for example the character of Charlotte. Her dress is very clear at first, during this first joyous act that takes place in a sunny inner courtyard with children. Gradually, the whiteness of Charlotte darkens, the dress remains pretty much the same but the color intensifies. Finally, for the final scene when she joined Werther while he was mortally wounded, Christian Gasc decided to add a blood red shawl, as if Charlotte shared the wound of her lover. The costumes ofWerther show a controlled unit, we do not get lost in too many colors. This production belongs in my opinion to these shows where everything is successful, where a refinement and a grace emerge from this symbiosis between sets, lights and costumes.

Costume of Stars
Ghislaine Thesmar, Colette Masson / Roger-Viollet, 1972/1983
Jean Guizerix, Colette Masson / Roger-Viollet, 1972/1990
Carolyn Carlson, Claude Lê-Anh, 1974/1980
Charles Jude, Jacques Moatti / ONP, 1977/1998
Dominique Khalfouni, Francette Levieux, 1976/1980
Florence Clerc, Michel Lidvac, 1977/1992
Claude de Vulpian, Michel Lidvac, 1978/1993
Patrick Dupond, Colette Masson / Roger-Viollet, 1980/1988
Jean-Yves Lormeau, Jacques Moatti / ONP, 1981/1996
Elisabeth Platel, Icare / OnP, 1981/1999
Monique Loudieres, Jacques Moatti / ONP, 1982/1996
Francoise Legree, Colette Masson / Roger-Viollet, 1983/1997
Sylvie Guillem, Jacques Moatti / ONP, 1984/1989
Isabelle Guerin, Jacques Moatti / ONP, 1985/2001
Laurent Hilaire, Colette Masson / Roger-Viollet, 1985/2007
Manuel Legris, Jacques Moatti / ONP, 1986/2009
Elisabeth Maurin, Jacques Moatti / ONP, 1988/2005
Kader Belarbi, Icare / OnP, 1989/2008
Marie-Claude Pietragalla, Jacques Moatti / ONP, 1990/1999
Carole Arbo, Jacques Moatti / ONP, 1993/2001
Fanny Gaida, Icare / OnP, 1993/2001
Nicolas Le Riche, Anne Deniau, 1993
Agnès Letestu, Icare / OnP, 1997,
Aurelie Dupont, Hidemi Seto, 1998
Clairemarie Osta, Icare / OnP, 2002/2012
Jean-Guillaume Bart, Icare / OnP, 2000/2008
Laetitia Pujol, Julien Benhamou /ONP, 2002
Marie-Agnes Gillot, Icare / OnP, 2004
Mathieu Ganio, Michel Lidvac, 2004
Wilfried Romoli, Icare / OnP, 2005/2008
Delphine Moussin, Icare / OnP, 2005/2011
Benjamin Pech, Jacques Moatti / ONP, 2005
Herve Moreau, Agathe Poupeney, 2006
Jeremie Belinguard, Anne Deniau / ONP, 2007
Emilie Cozette, Anne Deniau, 2007
Dorothee Gilbert, Sébastien Mathé / ONP, 2007
Isabelle Ciaravola, Michel Lidvac, 2009
Mathias Heymann, Sébastien Mathé / ONP, 2009
Karl Paquette, Anne Deniau / ONP, 2009
Stephane Bullion, Sébastien Mathé / ONP, 2010
Josua Hoffalt, Michel Lidvac / ONP, 2012
Ludmila Pagliero, Sébastien Mathé / ONP, 2012
Myriam Ould Braham, Anne Deniau / ONP, 2012
Eleonora Abbagnato, Icare / OnP, 2013
Alice Renavand, Agathe Poupeney / OnP, 2011

Palais Garnier
The Opera Garnier, or Palace Garnier, is a national theater and lyrical choreography vocation and a major element of heritage 9 th arrondissement of Paris and the capital. It is located Place de l’Opera, at the north end of the Avenue de l’Opera and at the crossroads of many roads. It is accessible by metro (Opera station), by the RER (line A, Auber station) and by bus. The building stands out as a monument particularly representative of eclectic architectureand historicist style of the second half of the xix th century. On a conception of the architect Charles Garnier retained following a competition, its construction, decided by Napoleon III as part of the transformations of Paris conducted by the prefect Haussmann and interrupted by the war of 1870, was resumed at the beginning of the Third Republic, after the destruction by fire of the opera Le Peletier in 1873. The building is inaugurated on January 5, 1875by President MacMahon in the third Republic.

Designed by the architect Charles Garnier in 1875, the Palais Garnier houses a prestigious auditorium and public spaces (grand foyer, rotunda of subscribers, salons), a library-museum as well as several rehearsal studios and workshops.

The “Italian style” theater, whose ceiling was painted by Marc Chagall in 1964, can accommodate 2054 spectators. With nearly 480,000 visitors a year, it is one of the most visited monuments in Paris. It is classified as a historical monument since 1923.

This opera was called “Paris Opera” until 1989, when the opening of the Opera Bastille, also opera in Paris, influenced its name. It is now designated by the only name of its architect: “Opera Garnier” or “Palais Garnier”. The two operas are now grouped together in the public industrial and commercial establishment “Opéra national de Paris”, a French public institution whose mission is to implement the performance of lyric or ballet performances, of high quality. artistic. The opera Garnier has been classified as a historical monument since October 16, 1923.