THE ROOFTOP COSTUME





"All I want is freedom...."



This is the costume Christine wears in the scene "All I Ask of You", after fleeing stage where Piangi is found dead. She drags Raoul up to the roof of the opera - therefore the costume is often referred to as "The rooftop dress". She also wears it during the applause right before the chandelier hits the floor, and this is where she wears the powdered 18th century wig, as seen in the costume sketch. The applause is after she presumably played a successful performance as the Countess. Therefore some refer to the costume as the "Countess dress".

I believe the costume is a nod to the "Robe a la Francaise", where the decorations of the bodice continues into the skirt. The original West End costumes reflected this. But instead of it being an overgown closed over a corset and trompeuse/petticoat, the stage costume has a separate bodice and skirt. It's also closed in the back rather than in front, and is without the large pleats in the back typical of a Francaise. Throughout the years the stage costumes has lost the "overgown" look the original costumes had.

The versions I've seen has been made of three layers of fabric - a lining, a base fabric (often silk or a shiny material) and a highly embroidered/sequined one overneath. But in newer versions an ornamental brocade is often used instead. The multiple layers, plus panniers or underskirt to support the stiff skirt, makes it one of the hardest costumes to wear for a Christine (I've heard that from many!).

Originally this dress was blue (as to contrast Carlotta's pink version), but eventually it became more and more pink (having gone through some phases of lilac, for example in Australia). There are of course exceptions; in West End there have been green dresses, and blue and purple ones still appear just as often as pink ones. The cloak was originally blue too, but has become a tad more turquoise in most production. This gives a wonderful illusion of moonshine of the rooftop.



The costume design specifies: "Kristin, Rooftops of Paris, Curtain Call Act I. All I Ask of You, Rooftops of Paris: Quick change from Il Muto. Curtain call dress, Il Muto line-up downstage when chandelier crashes end Act I. Stage make up."



Visit the gallery to see more picture of this costume