From Libretto #5 (2023)
Props … champagne flutes
Melanie Alsdorf, props mistress, on champagne flutes for the main stage
Champagne glasses are arguably one of the most in-demand properties for opera productions. The story often features a party of some kind, with bubbly stoking the cheery atmosphere. We use a range of materials. Some are really made of glass, so that the toasting sounds right in LA TRAVIATA, for instance. We couldn’t get that with synthetic materials, not even with acrylic glass. There’s a risk of injury, of course, especially when the characters are at some sit-down do and there’s a flare-up, such as in FRANCESCA DA RIMINI. At times like those we have to plan carefully which receptacles are allowed to get smashed – and we make sure they’re made of harmless stunt glass. There aren’t many companies that make them, and we always have a hard time tracking down glasses that look identical to the ones that are going to stay intact. Cheap, plastic beakers are no good anyway, because they tip over easily and lose their sheen after a few cycles in the dishwasher. Which kind of dampens the party feeling.