Saturday, July 22, 2006


Beefing Up Boule de Suif

David Zinn: Costume Designer

This opera is so much about appetite and sensuality. At that time being overweight could be connected to an idea of sensuality. This lines up so neatly with the story because it exaggerates what is both attractive about Boule de Suif and what ultimately imprisons her. Caroline Worra is the perfect person to play this role, but she is a very lovely figured woman. We knew that we really needed to pad her because that fact that Boule is fat is so central to the story. She needs have a lot of flesh. The important thing was to pick a size that made the point and was believable. It is a real body shape that we felt could blend well with the parts of Caroline’s body we do see. This was difficult because we’re not doing a lot of makeup to make her face fatter, and the suit has to look believable with her face and her hands. It’s also been a great stand-in as we’re working on her costumes. We have it set up on a dressmaker’s dummy in the costume shop, which is sort of weird. It looks very lifelike, and it’s strange when she’s not wearing it. It’s very weird to just stick pins in her boobs.

1. Boule de Suif’s fat suit waiting for rehearsal in the costume shop.

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