A photo shoot next week for Berkeley Opera's fall production of Xerxes involves research into historic Turkish medals, which will decorate the costume of Xerxes herself. The story of Xerxes takes place by the Hellespont, which is now known as the Dardanelles, a narrow strait in northwestern Turkey.
In the interest of time it's tempting to just grab a bunch of medals from the Army/Navy surplus store, but out of respect for our military folks - and my retired USMC Colonel father in law specifically - I'm re-creating medals and insignias of the era.
Also, there's The Legend of the Ring, opening July 31st. This modern-day version of the show condenses 18 hours of opera into 3 1/2 hours, enabling it to be performed in one night instead of three nights. The smaller cast has multiple costume changes since eight singers take the place of about 20. I'm working on making Brunhilde have a bit more of a dominatrix-y flavor to her Valkyrie costume with subtle studded and lacing-up elements. I'm currently brainstorming the theme for the Rhine Maidens.
I might also be working on a non-operatic 1930s period musical in October, stay tuned!