Dress to Impress

Have you ever wanted to wear the costumes of Bryn Terfel or Lesley Garrett? Or be a mouse from Die Fledermaus? Or dress as the Countess from the Marriage of Figaro?

Girls in costume for WNO scheme

The Welsh National Opera have introduced a new scheme to hire out costumes from past productions. Three months of sorting out thousands of items in the back store have resulted in a wide array of costumes now available to be hired, including attire from The Merry Widow , La Traviata , Cosi Fan Tutte and The Marriage of Figaro .

There is an impressive range of periods and styles from Medieval through to Edwardian with Beefeater jackets from Yeoman of the Guard to corsets and padlocks from Count Ory . All garments are handmade, many designed for particular productions and many gowns are intricately elaborated, the result of hours of work. Designers include some of theatre's best, including Maria Bjornson, designer of costumes for the West End production of Phantom of the Opera and Sue Blaine who designed the costumes for the Rocky Horror Show .

All costumes can be hired in their entirety including accessories such as gloves, hats and even ruffs. The costumes themselves are often so complicated that the company are offering to hire out a specialist dresser to ensure that clients are able to put the outfits together successfully!

Touring Wardrobe Manager Judith Russell explains: "This is a unique collection of clothing and we hope it will attract attention from not only the entertainment industry but from companies who would like to put an unusual twist on their corporate events."

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