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Fancy dress Zurich opera sells costumes ahead of carnival season

Médée opera on stage at Zurich Opera House in 2017

Médée by Marc-Antoine Charpentier was staged in Zurich last year. Some of the costumes used for 17th century opera will be sold off to the public

(Toni Suter/Opernhaus Zürich)

One of Switzerland’s most prestigious opera houses is selling off about 5,000 costumes and accessories no longer needed for its shows.

The average price for the extravagant items is around CH200 ($208), including a headless costume for a show of Canterville’s Ghost based on Oscar Wilde, or armour with golden spangles from a stage performance of Henry Purcell’s King Arthur.

The sale is due to take place on Saturday and customers must pay cash.

“Costumes are very important,” says director Andreas Homoki in the Blick newspaper. “They really make the characters on stage come alive.”

The costumes are not cheaply made or hastily patched together, but carefully worked. They could be worn at home or for the next carnival season, which gets underway next month.

Even though the garments were tailored to specific singers, they are easily adaptable, according to costume director Verena Giesbert.

The Zurich Opera Houseexternal link is one of Switzerland’s leading stages. The building dates from the 1890s and is also home to the Zurich ballet and a theatre. with agencies/ug

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