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  • Costumes By Deborah

Manon - Royal Opera House Prize 2021

This costume is a matching Frock Coat suit for the character Chevalier Des Grieux for the Royal Opera House production of Manon. ROH prize 2021.

My vision is for an opera version of the story, set in France in 1760. In this era, the costume is known as the fashion coat attire that high-class men wore to show their wealth. It is specifically designed for the high Society gambling scene in Act II in which the young Chevalier finds himself embarking upon cheating the upper class out of their money to survive and provide for his beloved Manon, and he uses clever hand tactics and trickery with hidden trick cards.

The full frock coat suit is illusional. What appears to be a three-piece suit with a shirt and jabot is, in fact, a two-piece suit and bib. The waistcoat has no back sections and is sewn into the inside of the frock coat where the side seams are. The frock coat is designed to sit open, with the waistcoat being fastened instead. There is a secret pocket sewn inside the right-hand sleeve of the coat (this is for a cheat playing card to be hidden). There are working pockets on the front of the coat, but the waistcoat pockets are illusional. The lace sleeves are also illusional, and the lace is sewn inside the coat sleeves just above wrist level. Underneath the coat is a white bib that gives the illusion of a shirt. The jabot is integrated into the bib, and the lace can be draped over the front of the waistcoat to look natural. The breeches are high waisted with side openings and held in place by trousers braces. All Gold buttons are illusional and Giant poppers, hooks and bars are used for all fastenings throughout the costume; this is to aid quick changes.

This costume will be displayed at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London, in October 2021.


Richard Featherstone


The Lion Hotel



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