British fashion designer (and part-time San Diego resident) Zandra Rhodes tried her hand at costuming opera for a new production of The Magic Flute at the San Diego Opera in January. It was her first opera commission.

Referring to The Magic Flute as the “ultimate fantasy opera,” Rhodes said that the opera was a good match with her design aesthetic. “Because I love and use light floating fairy-tale fabrics with large patterns and glittering sequins and beads, I can't wait to work on the billowing Queen of the Night or an iridescent huge dragon.”

About Pamina the princess' costume, the designer said, “In all the productions of The Magic Flute I've seen, she's never looked like a princess, so I wanted to make her like that. I've given her princess hair down to the ground and little pointy shoes.

The Magic Flute, directed and designed by Michael Hampe, ran through the end of January. Rhodes, who recently opened the Fashion and Textiles Museum in London, has developed a “Queen of the Night” line of clothing based on the opera.

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