The fashion industry is full of archetypes that could match opera's most awesome antagonists and drama that could sustain the grandest opera: backstabbing stylists, misogynistic designers, opportunistic assistants, crying models, ruthless journalists and self-aggrandizing PR -- and that's just the public side of the catwalk.
Manfred Schweigkofler's new production of Charles Gounod's opera Romeo et Juliette takes fashion as inspiration for Shakespeare's greatest love story. Schweigkofler has turned the feuding Verona families into dueling Italian fashion houses for Teatro Comunale di Bolzano's new production of R+J.
Models, paparazzi, and catwalks -- and as Enrico Girardi's review for Corriere della Sera recounts (not yet online) -- there are stylists, mass media and rivers of cocaine. Juliette is the model/daughter of the Capulets maison and Romeo is son of the rival fashion house, the Montagues.
Girardi's impression was that the audience was initially perplexed but nevertheless applauded the cast at the final curtain call, thanks to the fresh voices of the young cast (Paolo Fanale as Roméo and Monica Tarone as Juliette). All's fair in love and war. And fashion.