Opera Clori, Tirsi e Fileno

Baroque opera
“Clori, Tirsi e Fileno”, Handel, 1707
Haymarket Opera Company, Chicago, IL, USA – September 2012

Stage director : Ellen Hargis
Musical director : Craig Trompeter
Costume designer : Meriem Bahri
Set designer : David Mayernik
Light designer : Eric Peterson
Photographers : Brian Dickie – Karim Bahri

Dressed in Meriem Bahri’s simple, rustic costumes, the performers looked as if they had stepped out of an 18th century landscape painting.”

John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune, September 2, 2012

17th and 18th century paintings and prints of shepherds and shepherdesses flirting in idyllic pastoral scenes, such as those of François Boucher, inspired the choices of color and style in our costumes. Based on these examples of historical dress, the costumes are not indicative of actual 18th century shepherd garb. The wealthy nobles of the age took delight in pretending to be simple country folk. Our costumes are based on their posh representation of idealized rural life.

The shepherds Tirsi and Fileno, while very different from each other, share a common infatuation with the fickle shepherdess Clori. Tirsi’s costumes reflects this pastoral simplicity and his passion for Clori. The simple jacket is made of matte fabric with an inner lining of brilliant blood-red. In contrast, Fileno’s sensual personality is made tangible in his brilliant waistcoat, decorated with dozens of buttons. His blue coat is cooler and lined with a subtle color. Clori’s costume displays her duplicitous nature, allowing her to manipulate both of her lovers. Her laced corset matches with the matte, warm-colored fabric of Tirsi’s costume while her legs are modestly covered by a skirt made of blue satin like Fileno’s. She skillfully uses both halves of her body to advantage.