The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Monday, December 5, 2022

Bye bye tutus, hello masks: French opera houses join COVID battle
In this file photo Tunisian designer Myriam Riza adjusts an embellished protective mask on a mannequin at the workshop of her haute couture Miss Anais brand in the capital Tunis, on April 18, 2020, which donates 60 masks daily to staff at hospitals which care for COVID-19 patients. FETHI BELAID / AFP.

by Rana Moussaoui

PARIS (AFP).- Normally they make tutus and elaborate costumes for some of the greatest opera and ballet stars in the world.

But the costume makers from opera houses across France are now turning their considerable talents to making masks.

Since the beginning of April, Christine Neumeister, the costume director of the Paris Opera, has been driving around collecting masks 30 of her couturiers have made while locked down at home.

The first week they made 1,000 for the Red Cross and a Paris maternity hospital, and the following week they made a similar number for the Salvation Army.

Packed into "tutu bags" marked "Opera de Paris", they have to be among the chicest personal protection accessories around -- although staff from the French couture houses Dior and Louis Vuitton have also been volunteering to turn their hands to mask making.

Useful in a crisis
"We have the material and the know-how," said German-born Neumeister.

"It's also rewarding for us too to know that our work, which is an art in itself, can be useful in this moment of crisis," she added.

"My German grandmother used to say that during the war people who could make something with their hands were the heroes, the kings and the queens."

With chronic shortages of masks for the general public and even medical and nursing home staff in France, there is no shortage of takers.

The country is likely to make wearing mask obligatory in some public spaces when its strict lockdown begins to be relaxed from May 11.

Mask-making in the costume departments of opera houses across France only began in earnest after the official norms were posted online at the end of March.

Neumeister "opted for a mask with three folds which resembles a surgical one and which allows you to breath better than the duck-beak model."

She said it was made with lightweight poplin with a cotton fleece in the middle. "It has to be washable to 60 degrees Celsius (140F)."

Neumeister said it takes about 20 minutes to make, slower than if her staff were working in their studio.

Fabric shortages
Isabelle Daumas and 20 of her colleagues from the Toulouse Opera in southwest France will also start turning out masks to the same high standards from Monday.

And like several staff and artists from the Capitole de Toulouse, which houses the opera, a ballet and orchestra, every day she has been helping to disinfect centres set up to receive people who may have COVID-19.

At the Marseille Opera, they have gone even further, asking for their masks to get the official imprimatur of the local authorities for use by their staff.

Rather than working from home, "five or six people work each day in the studio", sticking rigidly to social distancing rules, said Aude Eisinger, who set up the drive for the local council.

With 1,000 masks a week to turn out, "we are drawing on the opera's stock of fabrics because getting fresh supplies is difficult," she added.

It's a similar situation at the Bordeaux Opera where technical director Yves Jouen said "our usual suppliers of fabric are pretty much out of stock."

There a small group of costume makers cut the fabric in the opera's workshops before delivering them to the homes of their colleagues who do the sewing.

"We even have musicians from the orchestra who are sewers lending a hand," Jouen said.

© Agence France-Presse

Today's News

April 27, 2020

INAH archaeologists locate a Post-Classical Mayan village in Mahahual, Quintana Roo

Toomey & Co. to offer 17 Oak Park Art League paintings in 'Interiors' auction on May 6

Rehs Contemporary presents 50 affordable works to help you fill in those nooks and crannies around your home

Are your frames properly appraised?

He can't travel, but his art can

Visitors asked to picture 'staying in' as National Gallery's new digital programme brings art to the home during closure

Hauser & Wirth announces details of 'Beside Itself,' its first Virtual Reality exhibition using new HWVR technology

Acclaimed Swedish author Per Olov Enquist dies aged 85

Bored Russians posted silly art parodies. The world has joined in.

Ludwig Museum Budapest's Slow Life exhibition goes online

Art for the soul: Virtual exhibition showcases the Asian American artists of Chicago & the Midwest

Casula Powerhouse innovate with virtual exhibition

A tribute to the 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T from the film 'Vanishing Point' for sale by H&H

Gavin Gardiner sells rare Purdley rifle, built for the Prince of Wales' Indian tour of 1875/6 for £10,000

Collecting Covid: The Museum of London seeks to mark unprecedented pandemic for the future

Shelburne Museum launches Museum at Home, new online exhibitions designed for remote delivery

Public can demo new online music-mixing app to celebrate library's 220th birthday

Extremeley rare silver penny sells for £11,160 at Dix Noonan Webb

Daylight Books to publish 'Phil Bergerson: A Retrospective'

Isolate > Create > Connect: A global creative response to social isolation by children

The ballet world needs Robert Garland. Why isn't it calling?

Bye bye tutus, hello masks: French opera houses join COVID battle

Rothko Chapel announces 2020 Óscar Romero Award recipients

The Museum of Neon Art launches bright new online initiatives

Will Buying Facebook Likes do Harm to Your Business? Find Out

Online Poker Strategy Guides

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

sa gaming free credit

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful