The Couture Designers Collection.

Charles and Patricia Lester
in Opera

Designer's Work for Films
Our first opera IRIS
fashion designer opera,  
copyright photograph
Charles Lester

Fashion Designers Design for Opera.

Two of the opera costumes by the couture fashion designers Charles and Patricia Lester for the opera Iris. This was the designers first venture into opera costume design which for them was a total change to their normal world of fashion design. Charles and Patricia Lester's fashion collection can be seen in Harrods, their design studios in Abergavenny and on their web site.

Singer Mel Vondrau wearing a costume from the opera Iris

Iris by Mascagni
Libretto by Luigi Illica.IRIS

More Opera Holland Park
Japanese Ghosts Don't Have Feet.

Designer of Japanese Kimono Opera Costumes.

Charles and Patricia designed all the costumes for the Japanese opera Iris by Mascagni, performed by Operas Holland Park,London 100 years after its first performance. In 1997 they were commissioned by Opera Holland Park, in London,, to design all the costumes for the opera 'Iris', by Mascagni. The opera set in Japan had not been performed in Britain in a major way since 1919 so it was not only an important milestone for Opera Holland Park but also for Charles and Patricia. Not only were the costumes but also the fabrics used in all the costumes were created and designed by Charles and Patricia. Patricia undertook extensive research into not only the structure of the kimonos used for the production but also designed fabrics specially for the kimonos. The production was being staged this time to mark the centenary of Mascagni's death. The opera was directed by Tom Hawkes and the set was designed by Peter Rice. MaryAnne Kraus assisted Tom Hawkes and choreographed the dance sequences in the opera.

The opera takes place in Japan and like Madam Butterfly is a tragedy in which the heroine dies in the final act. The libretto was written by Luigi Illica who wrote the libretto for Madame Butterfly and although its creation predated Madame Butterfly, Iris had its first performance after Madame Butterfly. Probably because of this fact the opera never gained the reputation that it deserved.

Iris was the most successful production in that season at Opera Holland Park. So much so that Opera Holland Park, for the first time in its history, repeated the same production as part of the 1998 repertoire. As in the previous season's production all the performances were totally sold-out. Later that year the opera company Theatro Graticello staged a costumed concert performance at the Lincoln Centre in New York, using the Lester's opera creations that had been used in the Iris production in London. This production of the opera Iris was to mark the centenary of the first performance of the opera.

Summer 2002 production:

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Charles and Patricia Lester's fashion collection | bridal collection | evening collection | plus size collection
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Sponsered artist Mel Vondrau