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Opera Saratoga’s Costume Designer on Costuming the World of ‘La Mancha’

Glenn Avery Breed brings 16th century Spain to life.

The costume for the Knight of the Mirrors in 'Man of La Mancha.'

No one gets into character quite like an actor or actress, and the final step of the transformation is undoubtedly stepping into a bespoke costume that brings worlds such as Don Quixote’s to life. Costume designer Glenn Avery Breed of Wardrobe Witchery fills us in on his creations that will transport Opera Saratoga’s stars to 16th century Spain for its upcoming musical, Man of La Mancha.

What were your inspirations for creating the costumes for Man of La Mancha?

These costumes are created to show the dirty world of the prison that character/author Miguel de Cervantes is sentenced to, and how the world he creates within it to tell the story of Don Quixote is the color and light in his life. 

Where do you source your fabrics and other materials from?

The materials are purchased from many sources, but we mainly shop in the garment district of Los Angeles and at a few major suppliers in Atlanta and South Carolina. Some of the trims on the fancy garments in Man of La Mancha are from India, from a costuming trip I took there a few years ago. I purchased many trimmings in the wedding markets.

What did you like most about creating the world of Don Quixote and Man of La Mancha?

As a costume designer, it’s not often that you get to do both dirty and pretty in one show, so it is nice to have the balance of how you can distress things, but make the dirty pretty as well. 

What’s your favorite fun fact about these costumes that someone in the audience might not be able to intuit from just looking at them?

The Knight of the Mirrors’ costume is pretty heavy, as it is made of actual little pieces of glass mirror. On the other hand, the armor that Don Quixote wears looks heavy, but is made of just foam, glues and paints and weighs almost nothing!   

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