3 Classical Costume Ideas for Halloween
By Mady Edgar – public relations coordinator
Are you in a state of fright because Halloween is just around the corner and you have yet to figure out your costume? Fear nevermore! KMFA has three classical costume ideas for you.
1. William Tell from Rossini’s opera
The “William Tell Overture” is more than just the “Lone Ranger” theme. It was the first piece ever played over the airwaves at KMFA on January 29, 1967. It is the most famous piece from the Rossini opera “William Tell” that is based on the legendary Swiss folk hero of the same name. His story takes place during the 14th century and Tell helped lead a rebellion against Austria for Swiss Independence. Other parts of his story include shooting an apple off of his son’s head with a crossbow after disrespecting an Austrian noble, escaping imprisonment on a ship during a massive storm and dying while trying to save a drowning child.
So how do you dress as this legendary hero? First, you will need to find some medieval-looking attire. Next, you should find a faux bow and arrow set to carry around along with an apple. You might even carry a Swiss flag with you. (Learn more about William Tell here.)
2. The Grim Reaper from “Danse Macabre” by Saint-Saëns
This spooky tune is a musical telling of the superstition that Death appears on All Hallows’ Eve (Halloween) and plays his cursed fiddle to wake the dead. This party of the undead goes on all through the night until they must return to their graves at dawn.
To dress as this, wear the traditional Grim Reaper costume of a hooded black robe. Instead of a faux scythe, carry a violin. Bonus points if you can play the first few notes of “Danse Macabre” while in costume.
For inspiration, watch the famous Silly Symphony animation sequence set to this piece:
3. A rioter at the premiere of Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring”
When Igor Stravinsky premiered his ballet “Rite of Spring” in Paris in 1913, the shocking music and choreography caused an audience riot. Some musicians were even assaulted during the mob chaos.
Relive this moment in classical music history with a costume of early 1900s clothing and Parisian accessories to show your rioter status. Take some purple makeup and apply some to the area around of your eyes to demonstrate the black eye you received while fist fighting the crowd. Hold a homemade sign with a phrase like “Down with Stravinsky!” or “The Riot of Spring!” You may want to tear your lapel a little — you were just part of a major riot, after all.
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