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Costume seekers crowd into L.A. Opera wardrobe sale

October 10, 2009 |  2:26 pm

Hundreds of people who’d rather be in costumes than jeans waited in line for more than hour today for a chance to shop the Los Angeles Opera’s first-ever wardrobe sale. 

In the sun-drenched parking lot of the opera company’s costume warehouse, costume fans wandered around, scrutinizing themselves in hats from the “Romeo and Juliet” opera, gowns from “Nicholas and Alexandra” and a 3-foot-tall wooden duck hat from “The Fantastic Mr. Fox.”  

There were roughly 2,500 pieces available.  The sale started at 10 a.m., and security guards limited the numbers of shoppers to manageable crowds. Costume director Jenny Green held back some racks inside the cavernous warehouse  to give the later arrivals something fresh to paw through. 

On prominent display in a giant wood box frame was a grotesque brown-and-green rubbery head-to-toe concoction dotted with golden tendrils that was worn by opera singer Daniel Okulitch as the title character in “The Fly.”

The 2008 opera was directed by David Cronenberg, who directed the 1986 movie “The Fly.” The costume was up for silent auction with a minimum bid of $5,000. 

 “It’s like a $10,000 costume to make,” said Green.  As of noon, however, there were no bidders. So if you want to be a fly for Halloween, whenever, and you’ve got some extra cash, head on over to 330 S. Alameda to put your bid in.

The sale goes until 6 p.m. today — or until they sell everything, said Green.

--Carla Hall reporting from downtown Los Angeles

Photo: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

Karissa Castellano, 19, of Simi Valley (left) and Karen Woods, of Sunland (right) try on costumes- just a view of the several thousands of custumes from various opera productions on sale during the Costume shop Sale in Los Angeles, CA October 10, 2009