Fat lady sings for used Lyric Opera costumes

The Lyric Opera of Chicago will hold a high-culture rummage sale of sorts potentially featuring more than 3,000 pieces of costumes dating to the 1960s, opera company officials said.  The sale will run Sept. 6 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Civic Opera House at Wacker Drive and Madison Street, according the organization.

Lucky buyers might be able to pick up chain mail, kimonos, fur garments and other items ranging from the comparatively banal to the futuristic, said spokeswoman Magda Krance.  There also will be hats.  Initially, as many pieces as possible will be set out in the opera house foyer and then new pieces will be cycled in as sales are made, Krance said.

Operas that may be represented in the sale include the Gilbert and Sullivan favorites "The Mikado" and "The Pirates of Penzance" as well as Giuseppe Verdi's tragedy "Rigoletto."

Prices will range from $1 to $200.  Shoppers should dress strategically because there will be no fitting rooms and will have to try on prospective purchases over their street clothes, according to the organization.

The Lyric Opera's only prior costume sale was in 2004, Krance said.


By Dan Hinkel,  Tribune reporter - August 25, 2014

dhinkel@tribune.com | Twitter: @dhinkel