Wednesday, October 21, 2015

DIY Halloween — Opera Style!

Ieva Ohaks is Seattle Opera’s Costume Stock and Rental Coordinator, managing approximately 15 tons of costume stock and providing costume rental services to professional opera and theater companies. She has worked for Seattle Opera since 1996, starting out as a costume crafts artisan and costume shop assistant, and working in her current position since 1999. Although she works with amazing costumes all day, it’s still not enough! As you can imagine, Ieva is pretty excited for Halloween. Over the next week, she'll share some ideas for costumes inspired by iconic opera characters. These costumes will be easily recognized by opera fans, (but everyone will be able to appreciate them!). Cook up these do-it-yourself looks with thrift-store finds or items from your home. They can be created without sewing skills.

Opera Inspiration: Papageno and Papagena from The Magic Flute: 

Photo by Rozarii lynch
Beaky hat:
  • Baseball hat 
  • Color posterboard or cardstock (try yellow or orange) 
    • Cut in a big triangle with one curved side to attach to the hat's visor 
    • Attach with hot glue, heavy-duty staples, or punch holes in both and attach with yarn or metal brad fasteners 
Base layer:
  • Close fitting long-sleeve crew neck or turtleneck in a fun color 
  • Matching leggings, close-fitting sweatpants, or tights 
Feathery jerkin/vest:
  • Start with an oversize thrifted knit sweatshirt in a different bright color
    • Cut an opening down the center front if it's a pullover
    • Cut the sleeves off shortish, then cut into the sleeve in irregular feathery shapes
    • Make similar cuts around the hem and around the neckline
  • Start with oversize sweatpants, cut off a little longer than your desired finished length, then cut irregular feathery shapes
  • Use the cut-off cuffs of both sweatshirt and sweatpants to make feathery bands at wrist and ankle: Keep the elastic or ribbing intact; cut the material above the ribbing into the same kind of feathery shapes
Feathers: extra plumes or pieces of feather boa (available at craft stores or costume stores) for tail, as a crest on the hat, around the waist or neck, wherever you need an extra bit of color

Papageno's Iconic Props: a set of reed pipes, which Papageno uses to lure the birds he catches; a bird cage to keep his captives

Papagena: Use any of the above ideas! Also consider a skirt, cut off in the same way as the pantaloons or vest, or even several skirts cut in different-length layers

Drawings by Ieva Ohaks  
Alan Alabastro photo