Diva's old gowns going for a song
Monday 06 February 1995
The sale will include more than 80 costumes, stage jewellery, headdresses, opera glasses and parasols worn by the singer during her 40-year career.
Dame Joan became a star overnight for her performance of Lucia di Lammamor at Covent Garden in 1959. She retired in 1990 and lives with her husband, the conductor Richard Bonynge, in Switzerland, where her costumes have gathered dust in the attic. "I just couldn't keep them in the house. They took up the whole loft and I couldn't bear to think of them being hidden away," she said yesterday at a reception at Sotheby's.
The costumes start at size 14 - at the outset of her career - and go upwards, although Sotheby's would not say where they finished. They include the bloodstained nightgown that Dame Joan wore in the Mad Scene in Act III in the 1959 production of Lucia, designed by Franco Zeffirelli, and which it is estimated may fetch £1,500 to £2,500.
Another Zeffirelli costume, an 1840s-style burgundy velvet gown, studded with paste rubies, worn by the diva when she played Violetta in La Traviata in 1960, is estimated at £1,000 to £1,500.
Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'
Of all the computers Apple has ever made there’s only one that Steve Jobs had to sell his car to finance
- 1 As an ex prostitute, I urge all the political parties to commit to the Sex Buyer Law
- 2 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 3 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Couple die within 28 hours of each other after being married for 73 years
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Isis releases first video showing the stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
Diwali: What is the festival of lights and how is it celebrated around the world?
Nelson Bunker Hunt dead: Former world’s richest man dies in 'modest circumstances' in US after losing his fortune
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
£20000 - £22000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Systems Tester - Functional/Non-Func...
£350 - £360 per day: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer with T-SQL, Watford, Hertfor...
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Intelligence Consultant - C...
£70 - £85 per day: Randstad Education Group: SEN Teaching Assistants needed in...