Quick Change: Atlanta Opera Costume Department Starts Making Medical Masks

By Keegan Morris |

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Assistant costume shop manager and wardrobe supervisor Lauren Allmeyer sews and shapes a medical mask (Photos: courtesy of The Atlanta Opera)

Amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic — and the resulting chain of cancelled performances — one opera company is doing its part to help alleviate the spread of the disease. After the early closing of its production of Porgy and Bess, the Atlanta Opera’s costume and wardrobe department nailed a quick change, pivoting from costuming singers to outfitting medical professionals.

The masks produced cover the N95 respirator mask and extend its usability, the Atlanta Opera explained in a statement. The company says they have already received requests for 72,000 masks. And with work halted on upcoming productions, the costumers will spend all their working hours on the project.

“You have opera companies, theater companies that have their seasons shut down,” says Atlanta Opera general and artistic director Tomer Zvulun in the above video, “but the resources, the equipment, the personnel still exist, so the simple idea is to just bring it together and use the incredible skill of our people and the equipment we have and manufacture garments that are much needed for the medical community.”

According to the statement, the company is currently looking into other ways it can channel its resources into supporting the containment and treatment of the disease.