1. Nicola Rutherford, West End. 2. Maria Bjørnson’s costume design. 3. Mel Gowie, West End. 4. Danielle White, Las Vegas. 5. Michele McConnell, Broadway.
Often worn by the Carlotta understudy in Masquerade. She wears almost a caricature of an 18th century dress, reminding of a polonaise in shape, but without the drapes. The dress is also sleeves, unthinkable in the 18th century.
It varies how the “Pierrot jacket” (the V closing over the bust) is interpreted and how the “peplum” (drapes in the waist) is executed. But for the most stage costumes stays very close to the sources for this dress, mimicking the sashes and decorations perfectly, and sticking to blue, red and gold as the main colours.
Waterfall backdrapes in Phantom of the Opera: Elissa (Carlotta):
1. Nicola Rutherford, West End. 2. Wendy Ferguson, Royal Albert Hall. 3. Joan Sobel, Las Vegas. 4. US tour backstage. 5. West End backstage (Wendy Ferguson’s I think?). 6. US tour backstage. 7. Anette Stridh, Stockholm. 8. Patricia Hurd, Chicago. 9. Unknown, World Tour.
Carlotta’s Elissa costume from West End, 1988-2013.
1. Rosemary Ashe in the original skirt, October 1986. Same bustle style as everyday dresses, darker colours, and a smaller bodice. I’m the only one in the phantom loving this, but I DO GODDAMNIT. This style was worn until 1988, two main Carlottas to wear it being Rosemary Ashe and Maria Moll.
2. Morag McLaren, October 1988. Redder tabs, a larger crinoline silhouette, tons more decorations on the apron, and stripes over the hem. This version served as a basis for the Canadian and Australian versions of the costume. The style was worn by Morag McLaren, Rosemary Ashe (on her return) and Julia Goss, up until the spring of 1993.
3. Julia Goss, May 1993. A lot more decorations on the skirt by now - stripes, Indian trims, pointed appliqués. The tabs became smaller, and the apron started to get the characteristic brooch belt. Also a more flared bodice. The style was also worn by Paula Bott, Valda Aviks and Dorte Holst, up until 1995 or thereabout.
4. Valda Aviks, September 1995. A very similar style to no. 3, but with a way more red apron and tabs. The tabs has also gotten fringes, alternating between red, green and black, all shot with gold. Much to my surprise Angela M. Caesar wore one of these skirts in the restaged UK tour, and it was left beautifully unaltered. Warmed my heart.
5. Rosemary Arthars, May 1996. They started to go through styles rapidly at this point… The stripes over the hem disappeared, the pointed decorations were placed much higher up, the apron and tabs got gold fringes, and overall there’s just a lot more gold here. A variant, with multicoloured fringes like the previous style, was worn by Jasna Ivir in 1997/98.
6. Margaret Preece in June 1999 (yes, the one who dubbed Minnie Driver in the movie). The style went plainer again. Well, “plainer”, as in less decorations on the main skirt, the red velvet apron and tabs as the West End version still sports, and a defined bodice. But a LOT of gold on the apron. Is that supposed to be the brooched belt?
7. Shân Cothi, May 2000. Almost identical to no. 6, but with stripes on the skirt, and with a neater brooched belt on the apron. Also more gold on the tabs. The style was also worn by Nan Christie, Judith Gardner Jones, Sally Harrison, Wendy Ferguson (first run) and Kate Radmilovic, up until 2009! Apparently they were happy with this style?
8. Judith Gardner Jones, November 2003. I consider this the same style as number 7, this photo just shows the colours and richness a lot better than the Cothi photo.
9. Nicola Rutherford, ca. 2010. A skirt made of a much greener silk, with or without stripy trims, and with tabs focusing less on the globe theme and more on leafs and paisleys - though many have the globe theme too. This was first worn by Rebecca Lock in November 2009, and versions of it is still worn today. Oh, and some of these skirts features the “ufo brooch” belts. This style has also been worn by Lara Martins.
10. Wendy Ferguson, 2011. This is the photo she was featured with in the RAH brochure, and it’s the costume she wore in the concert. Keeping with the brighter colours of the Rutherford one, but with the infamous “UFO brooch” belt and with the globe theme on the tabs.
Blue, blue-ish and pale blue/grey/lavender/whatever Confidante dresses.
Some of these photos are not the best of quality, as they’re old, showing blue confidante dresses worn by their original wearer. Some of the other photos here shows newer wearers of old dresses.
1. Stephanie Watt, Hamburg. 2. Basel, Switzerland. 3. Stockholm, Sweden. 4. Allison Connell, West End. 5. Japan 1992. 6. Åsa Nordgren, Copenhagen (revamped version of no. 3). 7. Ann McMann? Old US tour. 8. Nicola Rutherford, West End. 9. Mel Gowie, West End. 10. Unknown, West End.