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Brigitte Reiffenstuel’s costumes for 1950s Falstaff at ROH

Robert Carsen’s new production of Verdi’s Falstaff, which transposes the 1590s into the 1950s – one Elizabethan era to another, opened this month at the Royal Opera House, with costumes designed by Brigitte Reiffenstuel.

Confessing that she enjoyed this ‘buoyant and vivacious production’ more than she expected, Fiona Maddocks in The Observer noted how ‘Brigitte Reiffenstuel’s costumes delight in tweeds, twinsets, hat pins, ruched gloves, pinched waists and big skirts.’

Mark Pullinger, reviewing for Opera Britannia, thought it a ‘must-see’ production, saying: ‘Brigitte Reiffenstuel’s tweeds and scarlet foxhunting jackets replacing traditional doublet and hose. I cannot remember the last time I enjoyed a new Royal Opera production quite so much.’ In another warm notice, for the Telegraph‘s Seven magazine, John Allison remarks how ‘Brigitte Reiffenstuel’s costumes make playful use of retro colours.’

Although not convinced by Carsen’s interpretation, the Financial Times thought that ‘Set and costume designers Paul Steinberg and Brigitte Reiffenstuel have had a ball.’

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