Ready Your Opera Glass

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Published May 13, 2009

 

Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren have flair: witness the dramatic way the designers told Parisian monsieurs they could stick it or created a doll-sized retrospective for Barbican. The Dutch duo has taken a love of theater to the hallowed opera stage, designing surrealist costumes for von Weber’s classic romantic piece “Der Freischütz.”

A major influence on the sound of German folk music and composers like Wagner, Carl Maria von Weber’s emotional tale of national identity opens this spring in Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Germany’s largest opera house. Turning to this rich heritage, Viktor & Rolf constructed lederhosen out of neoprene and gave Dirndl what might be called “Heidi Dresses”—exaggerated, highly sculpted shoulders for the choral members. Trademarked 3-D shapes abound, and  the lead female soloist resembles a singing bouquet, wrapped in colorful silk and organza flowers and tied in a Viktor & Rolfian black bow. It all looks a bit like the packaging for “Flowerbomb.”

As if the bright comic strip-style of V&R wasn’t dazzling enough, the pair used almost a million Swarovski crystals to take advantage of director Robert Wilson’s elaborate stage lighting. Though they don’t have any plans to turn costuming into a side project, it’s in Viktor & Rolf’s nature to find a hobby so show stopping.

Tickets are now available.