Pirates of PenzanceGilbert and Sulivan Costume Design by Tilby
Chicago Opera House 2003 and English National Opera 2004. Set design Michael Yeargen, Directed by Elijah Moshinsky.
Monty Python was the reference for eccentric British humour for the Chicago cast who were totally unfamiliar with G&S.
I referenced music hall and Toulouse Lautrec burlesque. The Lyric director requested a more traditional approach.
Designs used stripes, vivid coloured Lautrec wigs, Victorian decoupage, printing by Bigfrieze, roll drops for dramatic effect. Girls costumes comprised boned corsets with skirts and swimming bloomers underneath, changing in striped bathing tents or behind large parasols.
The pirates wore Jimi Hendrix Bohemian fashion and British punk: big-girls' flowery blouses for the chaps, many tattoos, moustaches plus Mohecan hairpiece from an orange feather duster.