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Monday, 5 August, 2002, 07:26 GMT 08:26 UK
Opera costumes snapped up
Opera House Sale
The Opera House last held a costume sale in 1996
More than 15,000 garments from previous productions at the Royal Opera House went on sale to the public this weekend.

The event, which took place at the Opera House's Vilar Floral Hall on Sunday, featured costumes from four decades worth of opera and ballet.

About 7,000 people attended the sale, which was expected to raise about 250,000.

They were sold because the venue no longer has the room to store them.

I can't imagine anybody wearing it on the London Underground

Monica Mason, Royal Ballet

"Occasionally our limited storage space necessitates that we reduce our costume inventory," explained Corinne Jones Lord, head of costume and wigs.

"This is thus a great opportunity for the public to purchase speciality items that would simply not be available otherwise."

The Opera House last held a costume sale in 1996. Visitors were also be able to buy accessories including hats, shoes, fans, gloves and head-dresses.

Costumes from such productions as Elijah Moshinky's Aida, Peter Rice's Arabella and Mark Thompson's Don Quixote will be among the highlights.
Squirrel
Costumes and accessories will be up for grabs

However, not everything is cheap. A dress created for a Royal Ballet production of Sleeping Beauty was sold for 275.

"I can't imagine anybody wearing it on the London Underground," said The Royal Ballet's Monica Mason, who wore the dress to play the Wicked Queen in the production.

"But certainly they're very beautifully made and they won't fall apart...you're buying something that really will last."

"Whether it is for that special fancy dress party, or just to add to your collection, these costumes are all handmade here at the Royal Opera House," said Ms Jones Lord.

"As with our last sale in 1996, we expect it to be great fun and a tremendous success."

See also:

20 Sep 01 | Arts
20 May 01 | Music
28 Jan 99 | Entertainment
17 Dec 98 | Entertainment
06 Jun 02 | Arts
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