L’Espoir lyrique saint-amandois went to Bordeaux to select the costumes for À la Jamaïque, which the company will perform at the Pyramid in February 2023

For the first time in twenty-seven years on stage with l’Espoir lyrique Saint-Amandois (Elsa), Samuel Deschaumes made the journey to the Grout house in Bordeaux, Gironde, to select the costumes worn by the members of the troop wear for the four performances of their new operetta, to Jamaicaon February 18, 19, 25 and 26, 2023, at the Pyramid of Crafts in Saint-Amand-Montrond.

An unforgettable day for the new president who lived next door to Chantal Verger and who was used to this huge shop where more than 30,000 costumes can be rented; a reference in the entertainment world.

Redistribution of roles within the Saint-Amandois Lyric Hope troupe (Elsa)

“Grout is the last customer in France who supplies musicals, operettas, etc.,” introduces Samuel Deschaumes. Today the third generation is behind the wheel. They stock a hundred productions and offer about sixty to seventy professional shows annually. »

It’s an honor for us to have been part of the rare amateur troupes Grout has worked with since 1985.

On location, the two members of Elsa scrutinized and photographed the smallest details of the entire production to let them act out To Jamaica.

“A Whole Character”

“In advance, Chantal, responsible for the staging and sets, and Hélène Verger, responsible for the dances, had prepared all the costume sheets for each character in the piece, for each song, for each choreography, for each tableau. The costume is a character in its own right; they’re really working on it.”

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These days, after a period of reflection, the order is placed to deliver the chests a week before the first performance.

The troupe’s “little fairies with golden fingers” will then work to customize each piece for a flawless fit. “Seen by the audience, the operetta costume is always very beautiful under the lights. But if you look closely, it’s a lot, a lot, a lot of work, says Samuel Deschaumes. We have the right to play darts etc as long as the costumes are returned in the condition borrowed.”

“Style, period, we respect everything”

L’Espoir lyrique takes pride in dressing according to the era of each of its operettas. “The style, the period, we respect everything, the President relays. If it’s a time when we wore fascinators, then the female characters will wear fascinators. If there were crinolines, women will have them under their dresses. This year we have opted for a modern operetta and while we are modernizing the work, particularly by cutting it to make it more accessible, we value that continuity.”

Reason why part of the costumesTo Jamaica not necessarily come from Grout’s own production. “We don’t hesitate to resort to other productions of the house to have ‘our’ Jamaica, with the colors, the brightness and the visual effects that we want. We also have a fund in Elsa of 300 to 400 pieces, from donations or buybacks to troops that have ceased their activity. This year it will make up about 20% of costumes.”

On average, Elsa spends 25% of her budget on costumes. “It lives up to viewers’ expectations. If there is an operetta with fewer costumes than usual, we will be notified. It’s an important position, but it adds to the quality of the show.”

Marlene Lestang

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