Staff Halloween moments

31 October 2020
Group dressed in skeleton costumes and face paint form a three wide line.

Halloween; a time to throw niceties aside and fully embrace the horror of life. The one time of year you can throw on a wedding dress and cover yourself in fake blood and no one will bat an eyelid. Although it's not a holiday embraced by everyone and this year may certainly feel too close to the bone to be celebrated in all its glory, we still want to give a nod to All Hallow’s Eve. We asked some of the staff at Welsh National Opera what their favourite Halloween moments have been.

Opera and Halloween have a lot in common: there is a lot of dressing up, make-up and of course the music. Sian Price, WNO’s Head of Costume, told us her most memorable costume to date:

So my all time favourite is from a small tour version of Hansel & Gretel. It was only guest artists – double cast (it was the early version of the small tours we do now). The Witch’s costume was the best – it was red and black – with an amazing cloak into which all the children had been painted. It looked fantastic and such a clever idea. The costumes were designed by the then Head of Costume Terry Parr and Ian Jones – Head of Electrics lit it. It was created in 1990 and directed by our current General Director Aidan Lang

Four men stand at the front of the stage, arms raised, addressing the audience.

If you loved our WNO Pride make-up look by Bethan and are looking for inspiration for this years Halloween Siân McCabe, Head of Make-up and Wigs shares her most memorable moments:

My favourite one would be from From The House of The Dead which is set in a prison camp where they hadn’t seen the light of day. There were lots of shaved heads (done with bald caps), blackened teeth, boils and mangled ears! It took five of us 2.5 hours to get everyone’s makeup done for the show.

We admit this may not be the most flattering way forward and we certainly don't recommend you try this one at home.

Some of the spookiest, most spine-chilling music ever written also just happens to be some of opera’s biggest hits. Such as in Don Giovanni when The Commendatore reappears at the end of the opera to drag the Don down to hell. So make yourself an opera/halloween mash-up playlist, stick on some vampire fangs and go to town on the trick or treater’s sweets. Howling at the moon is something that not just the werewolves will be doing this year.