Dressed to trill
You may not be able to judge a book by its cover, but you know an opera diva when you see one because of her dress. The phenomenon of the diva originated in the 19th century, when female singers began to usurp the castrati in popularity. They chose and owned their own glamorous costumes, which in the eyes of their fans became nearly as important as their singing.
Over the years, the world’s leading designers have created fancy frocks for the divas of the Santa Fe Opera — including Susan Graham, Anna Christy, Patricia Racette, Natalie Dessay, Ana María Martínez, Susanna Phillips, and Constance Hauman. At a special exhibition at the Mesa Public Library (2400 Central Ave.) in Los Alamos, you can admire these creations — each of which was crafted under the watchful eye of costume director David Burke. Divas and Dresses opens Tuesday, Nov. 9; from 5 to 7 p.m., the Los Alamos Opera Guild hosts a reception. The exhibit, which runs through Dec. 30, is open and free to the public during regular library hours. Call 662-8253 for details.
Susanna Phillips in The Marriage of Figaro; courtesy Santa Fe Opera