Posted in Fine Arts

Puccini’s Chronicles STYLE: Bridal Gowns of the Stage!

Not that I feel like being a copycat of the NY Daily News- but in their Sunday column, they had a spread that really appealed to me. As a lover of all things wedding, I appreciated that they spotlighted the dresses worn by some current characters of stage and screen. I wanted to put my own spin on this, so here you go. This month’s PCS will take a look at my favorite trousseaux of the opera and Broadway worlds.

Rebecca Steinberg, IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU. This is one dress from the Daily News article that I wanted to be sure I also covered. Pictured is Sierra Boggess wearing the beautifully old-fashioned ensemble that was passed down from her character’s mother. In real life, the piece was designed by (who else?) William Ivey Long. He is a Tony Award-winning fashion designer and basically the master of Broadway costumes.

Susanna, LE NOZZE DI FIGARO. Susanna is my favorite character in the beloved Mozart opera, and as far as I’m concerned she is also a quintessential bride of the stage. After all, she’s marrying the Barber of Seville! Pictured here is Danielle de Niese in a San Francisco Opera production. She’s doing what any bride-to-be would when getting ready for the big day- modeling her headdress for the mirror!

Miss Adelaide, GUYS AND DOLLS. This is not the best photo- in fact, it’s of the production my alma mater did two years ago. But I think it gets the point across! A core aspect of Miss Adelaide’s character is her perpetual sniffles from being engaged for too long to Nathan Detroit. So when the two finally do tie the knot, it’s a pretty big deal dramatically- especially when Nathan is the one who then gets sick!

Turandot, TURANDOT. In what’s probably the most cringe-inducing wedding ceremony ever, bloodthirsty Princess Turandot finally meets her match in Prince Calaf, and the pair finally marries and lives happily ever after. Or do they? I mean, this is a Puccini opera, and we only got to this point because a lot of people died. Still, when you’ve got a finale as grandiose as this one, how can anyone sleep?

Cosette, LES MISERABLES. While the wedding gown Cosette dons in most adaptations of Les Mis (including the movie musical shown) is draping and feminine, there is one thing about it dramatically that bothers me. By this point in the story, Cosette has been separated from her father (Jean Valjean) and her new husband, Marius, has just survived a war. Where did she get the dress? It’s a mystery!

Lucia, LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR. And you thought the circumstances of Turandot’s nuptials were bad! Morbid as it may be, I believe the blood-soaked number in this title character’s “mad scene” takes the cake (pun intended) as the most famous wedding dress in all of opera. Pictured is Natalie Dessay; torn between her beloved and her betrothed, she murders the latter in their suite. Now that’s what I call a honeymoon from hell!



"I am a seagull, I am an actress." -Anton Chekhov (And sometimes I like to write stuff, too.)

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