|Type of Research:||Art/Design Item|
|Group or Collective Creators:||UK Design for Performance|
Rigoletto is disabled and vengeful; his daughter, whom he imprisons, falls victim to the sexually predatory Duke, whose aria ‘la donna e’ mobile’ is possibly both the most misogynist and the most famous arias in the history of opera. With its romantic music, productions of this opera have easily become ‘pictorial’.
I see myself as a designer whose work visualises the central themes of the piece. The costumes I designed for the Opera Holland Park production, which sited its hedonistic court in a contemporary Holland Park, with its themes of sexual exploitation, discrimination and social division, were initially problematic in the eyes of the producers. However, far from alienating the Holland Park audience, this production was so well received that the run was extended.
The research process included defining the archetypal Rigoletto’s jester’s outfit – his trade uniform - through trawling the Royal Opera House and the Theatre Museum archives for historical representations, while also studying football terraces for his civilian clothes. Rigoletto’s costumes make it clear that his ‘worn’ deformity is a social and professional construct. The research for Gilda’s costume included looking at precious porcelain dolls and ways in which they are dressed, as she is both her father’s fantasy and his possession. The Duke’s costume was found in research undertaken with Savile Row tailors, looking for current commissions from probable ‘Dukes of Mantua’, particularly if they and their court may be currently living in Holland Park.
The costumes were produced in collaboration with Angels Costumier. Two of Gilda’s costumes were used as part of the SBTD Collaborators’ Exhibition, UK Design for Performance, 2003 – 2007, alongside photographs of the production, while images of Rigoletto and his on-stage transformation were included in the catalogue of the Exhibition.
|Additional Information (Publicly available):||
Donatella Barbieri is joint London College of Fashion/V&A Research Fellow.
|Your affiliations with UAL:||Colleges > London College of Fashion
Research Centres No Longer Active > Fashion, The Body And Material Cultures Research Centre (FBMC)
|Date:||1 July 2006|
|Related Websites:||http://www.fashion.arts.ac.uk/donatella-barbieri.htm#, http://www.theatredesign.org.uk/exhibitions/previous-exhibitions/collaborators-2007/, http://www.ohp.rbkc.gov.uk/, http://www.angels.uk.com/|
|Projects or Series:||Research Outputs Review (April 2010 - April 2011)|
|Date Deposited:||02 Dec 2009 14:50|
|Last Modified:||01 Dec 2014 16:51|
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