Montreal

Opéra de Montréal opens its doors for first-ever costume sale

The organization was selling more than 2,000 of its 14,000 costumes to make room in the studio. 

More than 2,000 costumes up for grabs so studio can make room

Philippe Laurin was shopping for Halloween costumes, but he said he also found items he could wear every day. (Radio-Canada)

Costume designers, theatre teachers and opera enthusiasts alike gathered Saturday to take advantage of the Opéra de Montréal's first-ever costume sale. 

The organization was selling more than 2,000 of its 14,000 costumes to make room in the studio. 

"It's been 40 years that we've been accumulating costumes at the opera," said Pierre Massoud, director of production at the Opéra de Montréal.

They decided that giving the public a chance at owning a piece of the opera was the best way to free up space.

A man tries on a costume at the Opéra de Montréal costume sale on Sept. 28, 2019. (Radio-Canada)

People started gathering outside the opera's office on Président-Kennedy Avenue at 5 a.m., five hours before the doors opened. By the end, hundreds had passed by. 

One of the first to arrive was Marie-Claude Monette, a teacher at the Collège citoyen de Laval. The early rise was worth it for Monette — she left with a suitcase and two overflowing backpacks for a total of $350. 

Pierre Massoud is the director of production at the Opéra de Montréal. (Radio-Canada)

"I'm shopping for the drama class," Monette said. "The students will be able to flourish in the theatre with all these beautiful costumes, making it more alive and more real." 

She said she teaches the French Revolution, and needed a cape for the king who's going to be guillotined. 

"These are not things you can buy at a regular store," said Monette, who bought the cape for about $50. 

Costume prices ranged from $5 to $150, even though some pieces cost between $5,000 and $10,000 to produce. 

People started gathering outside the opera's office on Président-Kennedy Avenue at 5 a.m., five hours before the doors opened. By the end, hundreds had passed by.  (Radio-Canada)

Another enthusiastic shopper was Philippe Laurin, who came to buy Halloween costumes for himself and his friends. He also says he found some good deals for everyday wear.

"It's the Opéra de Montréal; it's iconic, and it's the first time they're holding a sale like this," Laurin said, wearing a Roman-style headdress.

"It's like having a piece of history in your hands." 

Myriam Larose was shopping for a costume to wear on Mardi Gras in New Orleans. (Radio-Canada)

Myriam Larose wandered the warehouse with a pile of clothing overflowing in her arms. She said she came to get costumes for next year's Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans. 

"I didn't know what I was looking for, but the stage costumes are always done really well," Larose said. "It's a great opportunity."

Based on a report by Radio-Canada

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