Furs, Gowns & Extravaganza! Phantom's Michele McConnell Brings Fans Inside Carlotta's Closet
March 26th, 2014
by Josh Ferri
When you're the prima donna of a Paris opera house, you can expect to look like a million bucks. The Phantom of the Opera scene-stealer Michele McConnell shares with BroadwayBox the secrets of six of her favorite Carlotta costumes. #PrimaPerks.
"The costume that puts my technique to the test! (And guarantees business for my chiropractor!)"
“This costume comes in around 40 lbs. It sits pretty evenly on my hips, but you still have the weight pulling down on your shoulders and neck. I start off the show in this extravagant gown walking downstage singing a giant cadenza and holding a severed head prop (supposedly it's designed to weigh the same as a real human head! I've never held a real severed head, so I'll take their word for it...). It took me a couple of times in my first dress rehearsal to get through my first line in one breath due to the costume heft. This dress also makes sure I don't overeat before the show!”
"The costume that makes me feel like a million bucks!!"
“This is my favorite costume!! I mean, honestly, a fur-trimmed parasol? What's not to love about all this over-the-top extravagance?! I feel like a true Prima Donna in this costume. I have a feeling wardrobe would notice if I tried to steal this one...”
"The costume that makes me feel like a wedding cake!"
“Il Muto is our ‘opera within the opera’ scene. It's one of my favorite moments in the show because I get to combine technique with physical comedy. How many Broadway singers get paid to leap around on a bed and croak on stage?”
"The costume that makes me aware of my space!"
“This costume involves wings out my back and my hand-held mask. My wings have gotten caught on people, the mannequins, even the curtains! And—note to self—this mask has a metal rim. When you accidentally poke yourself in the eye with it while doing choreography, it hurts. ;)”
"The costume that fits like a glove!"
“This costume was built specifically for me and fits like a glove! It's very common after 26 years that our expensive and extravagant costumes at Phantom get altered to new cast members. This one was built for me for the 25 the anniversary performance, and I love it! Again, such extravagance! It has over 150 yards of hand-seen trim, and you gotta love my fur- trimmed hat!”
"The costume that gets caught everywhere"
“This costume, despite its weight, is super comfortable but it's huge! Space is so tight backstage at Phantom, I feel like wardrobe is constantly repairing the skirt for rips and tears as I get caught in the wings!”Don't miss Michele McConnell making a killer Broadway debut serving opera diva-realness in The Phantom of the Opera at Broadway's Majestic Theatre.