Over the 4th of July weekend, our Costume Designer Anya Klepikov was in Vermont shopping and doing costume fittings. We caught up with her to hear more about her life and work.
Give a little back ground about yourself.
I was born in the Crimea, but really I’m from the Boston area, and am currently representing Queens, NY. I am a set and costume designer for theater and opera and I also teach design and color.
What was appealing or exciting about coming to Vermont to be a part of Orpheus and Euridice?
I love Vermont - it is so beautiful! I was very moved by the music, and have wanted to work with Keturah for a long time. Also, there’s always something special about working for a young company in an untraditional setting. The host of challenges keeps everyone on their toes, and that usually makes for a really authentic process and product because everyone has something to lose and is really invested.
What are your favorite operas, musicals, music, plays...?
I have gotten to design quite a few operas and music shows by living composers, librettists, and songwriters - Tobias Picker, Gene Scheer, Rene Orth, Mark Campbell, Marvin David Levy (living at the time), Anton Coppola, and Philip Glass, as well as Amanda Palmer and Adam Stone on the non classical end of the spectrum - which is a real treat, especially when I got to engage with these artists in the creative process and find out their fantasies and anathemas regarding the production. But in terms of older work, I dream of Verdi, Tchaikovsky, Bizet, and Borodin. Theatre-wise, I love Shakespeare and Williams first, then a long list of others.
How did you get started as a designer?
My parents are both musicians: my mom teaches piano, and my dad is a guitarist and a musical instrument maker who makes flute head joints out of exotic woods. I grew up playing classical piano, and watching my father trying to pick up Paco de Lucia’s guitar riffs from his cassette player. My mother actively encouraged appreciation of painting, poetry, theater, and ballet. So even though I was interested in science and entered college as a bio major, it is not surprising that I ultimately made my way to a career that concurrently revolves around word, image, sound, and gesture.
Do you have a fun/funny performing anecdote to share?
I have a funny story about an opera for which I had designed the scenery and costumes, which was not so funny at the time. On one unforgettable opening night in Chicago, the orchestra pit broke an hour before curtain. The production manager rang us with the news as we were slinging back champagne and introducing our parents at the pre-party. The orchestra, as a result, would not be able to play in the pit and had to be moved onstage behind the scenery. Somehow, this did not cripple the acoustics because our scenery of a couple construction towers was very porous, and there was fortunately enough space for the orchestra to fit behind it. I remember the sad humor in the voice of the company manager and the supportive energy in the audience, as he came onstage and announced: “Ladies and gentlemen, this is live theatre at its livest.”
To learn more about Anya, click here to visit her website.