2010.7.8-11 La Peintre,Yu-Lin

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Sophie Hong and set design Nelson Wilmotte

costume design Sophie HONG

For the libretto of the opera “Pan YuLiang”
On Stage, In Town

Sophie Hong is a clothes designer born in Taiwan, where she teaches haute couture at ShihChien University. She has been the designer for several theatrical productions, while her line of unique garments is a firmly established presence in many stores in Europe, the United States and Japan as well as in Taiwan. Sophie Hong has recently opened her own boutique under the venerable arcades of the Palais Royal in Paris.
Sophie Hong is an authentic fashion designer, for men as well as women, who learnt her métier in Taiwan and France. A complete mastery of her very particular approach, acquired over many years, is the basis of the originality of her work, and enables her to offer remarkably solid and exciting training to the upcoming generation of Taiwanese designers.
Costumes for whirling marionettes, costumes for musicians who require the greatest possible ease of movement when they play onstage, costumes harmonized with the demands of dramatic or operatic scenarios – these are just so many occasions for Sophie Hong to deploy new designs and new materials and new natural dyes, all mobilized to serve text, music or stage setting by means of the indispensable art of the costumier.
Once the curtain falls, once the players and singers leave the stage, the memory of a production, the traces of voices and emotions, may enjoy an afterlife thanks to photographs, notably those in the theatre programme or libretto. These images can bring back to mind the faces of the actors and singers and for a good while afterwards revive the show’s melodies and sensations. The leading part played by costumes in this kind of image-aided recollected pleasure is undeniable.
For a designer like Sophie Hong, used to creating apparel for urban living, for work life and for the most formal events, the challenge of designing costumes for an opera is simply another opportunity to juggle material and colour and cut in her own inspired and quite inimitable way.

Donald et Mia Nicholson-Smith

NSO La Peintre,Yu-Lin Link