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Updated: January 10, 2010 19:23 IST

Clothes make the opera

SHALLU SHARMA
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ROYAL FARE Models display costumes created by Dominique Pichou for the opera 'If I Were King', to be staged by Neemrana Foundation
ROYAL FARE Models display costumes created by Dominique Pichou for the opera 'If I Were King', to be staged by Neemrana Foundation

Over 300 outfits have been created for ‘If I Were King', to be staged by the Neemrana Foundation

As part of the Bonjour India festival of France, the Neemrana Foundation is staging “If I Were King', a three-act Indo-French opera by Adolphe Adam, as part of the ongoing ‘Bonjour India' festival.

At a recent preview of the play's costumes at Alliance Francaise, out of the more than 300 outfits used in the play, five were on display, made for the queen, the king, the courtroom girl, the villain and the princess (the queen in her young age), along with sketches of the others.

Fashion designer Dominique Pichou brings to life his vision with all its richness and variety in collaboration with Indian designers Parvesh and Jai for the first time.

The designers explored various Indian markets such as Chandini Chowk, Lajpat Nagar and Shankar Market for the best fabric and designs that could provide an Indian contemporary look to the opera. Dominique appreciated the efforts by Jai and Parvesh for they understood the designs and brought in their suggestions and reasonable changes.

“It had to be done with Indian designers as the costumes needed a blend of India, and Parvesh and Jai have done a wonderful job,” said Dominique.

All the costumes created for the opera were a mix of the extravagance of the Maharajas with the contemporariness of Parisian couture. The designers left their deep-seated print on each garment, reflecting the magnificence of royalty with a modern wave.

The tale, based in India, is the story of a young fisherman, Zephoris, who falls in love with princess Nemea. He is made the king for one day by Mossoul, the king of Goa.

He then discovers that the minister of the kingdom has betrayed the king and is plotting with the Portuguese to invade Goa. Zephoris is able to repel the invaders. To thank him Mossoul gives him his cousin, the princes Nemea, in marriage.

The main intention of the opera is to promote classical music in India.

‘If I Were King' will be staged on January 12, 14 and 15 at the Siri Fort Auditorium.


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