After four days of work already 5,000 Swarovski crystals decorates the "haute couture" costume of Paramour, actress Brigitte Hobmeier. Until the dress rehearsal the designer Kaname Kiyono and colleagues might add more 3,000 pieces. "The crystals are visible this year than in the previous two years, which I find particularly appealing," costume director Dorothea Nicolai raved on Thursday at a site inspection in the costume workshops of the festival.
The costume painters hold back at first, preferring to glue on too few than too many stones. “It is difficult to remove the crystals: you have to reheat them and lift them off the fabric,” says Kaname Kiyono. Only the first stage rehearsal with the real lighting will reveal where stones might be missing. The shape of the skirt has hardly changed during the past three years. “After all, it is still the same actress too,” says Dorothea Nicolai, Director of Costumes and Makeup at the Salzburg Festival. The cut of the dress influences movement on stage as well. “We can’t just give her a tight skirt now,” she says. No, the 32 metres of fabric in the hem, which Brigitte Hobmeier can twirl around in on stage, remain the same. Only the top has changed. “I think the tops are getting more and more sophisticated,” says Dorothea Nicolai. “The stones are much more visible this year, since we are using contrasting colours for the first time.”
Thanks to Swarovski’s sponsorship, the Paramour will have not only a new dress, but also a new necklace. This is being manufactured by Swarovski itself, but it is safe to assume that square-cut stones will play a central role here too.