CARLOTTA IN HER RED DRESS





"...have you seen the size of my part?!"



Have Carlotta ever looked more charming than this? The costume was designed some months out in the run of the premiere of Phantom in London. Before that, Carlotta had only had her black and white frock as her personal dress, and the role of Meg had more costume changes than her. That's no good for the leading lady! When Rosemary Ashe, original Carlotta, was asked about her favourite costume, this was her answer: "I loved Carlotta's second act costume, the red dress with an ermine stole (originally they used real fur, then had to dye it down as the white of the ermine was too bright! Think they use fake fur these days!). That costume was made after the opening and I didn't get it until several months into the run."

The red dress is used in the second act, in "Notes II" and "Don Juan Rehearsal". In some productions only the principal Carlotta have the costume, while the understudies use the black and white one in the second act as well, as Rosemary Ashe originally did. Additionally, in the Las Vegas production Carlotta doesn't wear this costume at all, as most of "Notes II" is cut and Carlotta isn't present in the part that's left. Because the red dress was a later addition, Carlotta appeared in her b/w dress at curtain call. In some production she still appears in the b/w one, while in others she wears the red dress.

Like Carlotta's b/w dress, this one also has military details, like the the decorative Brandenburg closing of the bodice. The bodice is tight-fitting and with long sleeves, and the cuffs are folded back to reveal more piping decoration. The skirt consists of a pleated main skirt with a panier/apron draped on top, in a fabric matching the bodice. There's further piping decorations here, echoing the trimmings on the bodice. The backdrapes consists of two long tabs folded into "loops" down the back. A dress of the same colour scheme and similar bodice arrangement was printed in a La Mode Ilustrée from 1886.

Carlotta also wears a velvet lined mink stola, a toque (fur hat) and wine coloured gloves, and there is a mock chemise viewable in the neck opening and at the cuffs. There's often blackwork decorating the white fabric, and sometimes also a camé jewellery. This comment was on a plaque next to an exhibited version in the USA:
"She does not like the size of her part in the opera, but her skirt has over 200 yards of trim on it!"...

PERIOD DRESSES, DESIGN AND ORIGINAL DRESS



EUROPEAN





USA





AUSTRALIA/WORLD TOUR AND JAPANESE



DETAILS