Costume  Director  Hugh  Pruett

A Conversation with Bruce Duffie



Hugh Pruett, 68, of Chicago, whose supervision of costume designs at the Lyric Opera of Chicago made Mefistofele more devilish, Violetta seem more doomed, and Sir John Falstaff more corpulent, died Friday, May 5, in Rush Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, of heart failure.

"It was all very stylish," said John Copley, a frequent stage director at the Lyric Opera. "He had a very good eye for what was necessary, and he would always find you a few thousand dollars when it was needed, would pinch it from somewhere."

For more than 40 years, Mr. Pruett worked backstage at the Lyric. He started as an assistant to the company's wardrobe master and after many years as a co-director, he became director of costumes in 1996.

Under Mr. Pruett's direction, the Lyric costume staff created stunning designs for Verdi's "La Traviata," stout costumes for "Falstaff," whimsical creations for Boito's "Mefistofele," and clothing both modern and fanciful for any number of other productions.

Yet before starting at the Lyric, Mr. Pruett had no formal experience in costume work.

Born in Martin County, Indiana, Mr. Pruett attended Indiana University and graduated from Miami University of Ohio before earning a business degree from Harvard University.

He joined the Navy, serving as an assistant to an admiral in Hawaii. It was a period highlighted by trips to Guam and Japan, and which segued into a position with a construction firm in Hawaii.

It was while visiting friends in Chicago in 1959 that Mr. Pruett heard of an opening at the Lyric. He remained in the job for the rest of his life.

Mr. Pruett came to Chicago already having a love of opera, having listened to 78 r.p.m. records of famed Italian tenor Enrico Caruso at his grandmother's knee in Indiana. His background was in business when he joined the Lyric, but his postion there did not require a degree in costume design.

Over the years he acquired an exhaustive knowledge of historical costuming, costume making, and fabric purchasing, said Stan Dufford, retired wigmaster for the Lyric.

Beyond that, added Dufford, Mr. Pruett also served as a diplomatic ombudsman for ill-fitted opera singers.

In addition to his work at the Lyric, Mr. Pruett served since 1975 as business agent for the Chicago local of the wardrobe union, part of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employes, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts.

He is survived by his mother, Agnes E. Smith.



See my interviews with William Mason, Drew Landmesser, Duane Schuler, Bruno Bartoletti, Thomas Gilbert, Stan Dufford, and Donald Palumbo

As can be seen in the image above, this interview was part of a series presented on WNIB featuring backstage personnel.  A few of the people I had known and worked with, but it was a special joy to meet several others who kept the Lyric Opera running smoothly night after night, season after season.  This one deals with the costumes worn by the principal soloists, choristers, and supers.

As noted above, Hugh Pruett was a mainstay for over forty years, so his particular vantage point encompasses the very early days up to the end of the century.  He was open when speaking about his colleagues as well as his own craft, and gladly answered my questions for about half an hour.

While we were setting up to record, I asked about his title of Costume Director . . . . .

Bruce Duffie:   [With a gentle nudge]  That means that you direct the costumes???

Hugh Pruett:   [Smiles]  The title
s been changed off and on from Wardrobe Master to different things.  But now, other companies have these great titles or things they like to say.  I often say I’m the Wardrobe Master, because more people would know what that is.


Marilyn Horne and June Anderson in Orlando by Handel          [Photo by Tony Romano]

BD:   You are responsible for every piece of clothing that we see on the stage for every opera?

Pruett:   For every opera... shoes, stockings, trousers, shirts...

BD:   Do you design them, or do you just make sure they are in the right place at the right time?

Pruett:   No, I never design.  We either have them made new, or we rent or borrow them from other companies.  When they come, we size them, and make sure that we have something for everybody.

BD:   [Referring to the old joke]  Fifty Gorgeous Girls and Forty-Nine Gorgeous Costumes?

Pruett:   [Laughs]  We do that quite a lot.  This year, we
re doing Die Meistersinger, and we’re renting it from Brussels.  Theyre a chorus of seventy, and we have one hundred twenty-nine, so thats almost sixty short.  Then, they each have three costumes, so we’re one hundred eighty short in this case.  So, we make a lot clothes.  Let’s say, out of the 70, there’s always a percentage of people that dont fit our chorus, so there’s a 10% give of either too large or too small.  It happens in every opera.  We had a lot of trouble in Mefistofele [shown in photo below], which we’ve done before, but our chorus has changed sizes.  After we did it, its been done in Houston or San Francisco.  So, all these clothes we interchange, or change sizes, or it’s necessary for us to make new.


BD:   When you make a new costume, do you make it more sturdy because it
s going to have a lot of wear, and a lot of alteration?  [See photo of workshop below.]

Pruett:   When we do it for our company, we
re basically doing it just for our one-time shot.  This is the second time we’ve done Gioconda, and we co-own Mefistofele.  So, we do tend to make them better if we co-own them than for a one-time shot.  We try to duplicate exactly.  I run copies.  I do copies very well.

BD:   Do you copy from the costume designs, or do you copy from your ideas?

Pruett:   If we
re fortunate to have sketchesif they existthen we copy from that.  Or, if the existing costume doesn’t fit, we copy from that.  I do take liberties sometimes.  If somebody is really very large and the costume was designed for a small person, then I take an artistic liberty and adapt it to what I think would look better with on stage, within certain limitations.  I try to have the colors and the fabrics always stay the same.


BD:   Youre concerned with what it looks like.  Are you concerned at all with the singers ability to breathe and to move on stage?

Pruett:   They let me know that.

BD:   After the fact?

Pruett:   During the fact.  We do a lot of compromising with artists in particular.  A lot of singers can wear things that
 are bone-garments, where they run stays and bones up the side.  Some want them all the way around, almost like being encased in it, and some want nothing.  It entirely depends on the artist, on their breath control, and how they feel.  Some want a tight garment, and some a loose one.

BD:   Is it different designing a costume for a principal singer, as opposed to a member of the chorus?

Pruett:   We tend to use different, more elegant fabrics.  If they
re going to be in the spotlight alone, we tend to do things that will make them look better.  But as far as structural changes, we dont hedge on the chorus at all.  We put them in nice things.  It’s just that we choose different fabrics and different looks for the artist, usually.

falstaff BD:   You try to make the principal artists look a little more spiffy?

Pruett:   Exactly, depending on what light Duane Schuler hits them with.  If I know what he’s going to do, then I try to pick something that’s going to pick up the light very well, with whatever color gels he uses.

BD:   Do you co-ordinate a lot?

Pruett:   Oh, yes, we really do.  We have to work very closely.  Basically, I work with Stanley Dufford, who is our wig and makeup man, and all of us together really do have meetings.  David, the armor man, is in on this.  The stage managers come, and they tell us what sides people are going off, and what the light plot is, and where there won’t be any light.  Sometimes, for instance, we have a group of choristers in robes, and they’re just way too short, so we tell them if they possibly can, to put that group in the back of this row so we don’t have to lengthen the robes.  It’s very difficult when you’re borrowing or renting productions from Europe, because those fabrics aren’t available in this country.

BD:   You mean to mix and match?

Pruett:   Yes.  You can’t, usually.  You can in certain instances, and there’s a fabric house in Germany that handles an awful lot of good stuff, but it’s almost impossible in this country.  We’re having trouble now with Gioconda, which was done originally in San Francisco, but the fabrics were probably bought in Europe by the designer, and they are just not available.

BD:   Would ever think of just doing a slightly different design so that it can be completely different for a group of the chorus?

Pruett:   We do that.  Right now, we’re waiting for Zack Brown, who is the costume designer and set designer for Gioconda.  Our performances have Jane Eaglen, and we need to make her costumes.  So, rather than copy the ones from San Francisco, Zack’s coming in with new designs, and he shipped fabric to me.  We made basic muslin patterns for him to see the shapes, but he picked fabrics.  We will have about ten days to make all her clothing, plus the tenor
s as well.

BD:   When you get a design and the fabric, how long does it take you to execute?

Pruett:   It depends on how long I have.  In many instances we have made dresses overnight.  I
ve kept seamstresses overnight, and a crew.  We’ve actually done overnight dresses, but it’s not really something that you want to do very often.

BD:   Do you take into account if a dress is going to be damaged during a fight scene, or if you know it’s going to be damaged, would it be made differently?

Pruett:   Of course, we do.  We put a lot of different backings on clothing that will make it withstand rough wear.  We usually try to use a canvass back on things that are going to be in real heavy use.

BD:   [With a nudge]  So, when the soprano complains she
s in an old sack, she really is in an old sack.

Pruett:   She’s in an old sack, and she’s in a heavy old sack.

BD:   Are you concerned with the weight of the garment?

Pruett:   Absolutely.  If it
s well-balanced, its okay.  I remember in Falstaff [shown in photo above-right] we have the heaviest costumes, just layers of wool, and wool, and wool, and some of them weighed 60 pounds.  Marilyn Horne was part of the cast [in a later season], but if theyre balanced on the shoulders, and they are weighted properly and distributed around, the women can carry it.  The hips carry part, and the shoulders carry part, but it is a big factor.  One time for Joan Sutherland, we cut the entire back out of her dress because it was so heavy.  She said she just couldnt breathe.  I asked, “What are you going to do when you turn around?” and she said, “I won’t turn around.”  [Both laugh]  She just told the director that she’s not going to turn around because it’s too heavy.  We literally cut the entire back of her dress.  The petticoat was a big hoop, and it was very funny to see the back, because there she was in her underwear, her knickers, or whatever she calls it, and beautifully gowned from the front.

*     *     *     *     *

BD:   When you design either a single costume or a set of costumes, where in the house do you want it to read the best
from the middle of the main floor, the front of the main floor, the back of the houseor do you even concern yourself with that?


Pruett:   Truly, I don’t think anybody does.  The people that pay $10 are just as entitled as the ones that paid $200, or whatever the top rate is.  I feel that the people that are in the very top rows deserve the same thing as anyone else.
BD:   Do you feel that the costumes read the same from Row A to Row ZZ?

Pruett:   On the main floor [shown in the photo above], I would say yes, they do read.  Sometimes I think it’s far more interesting to go to the upper balconies [shown in photo at right].  I like to look at the pictures from up there, because it becomes a picture to me with people moving.  You really do get a wonderful view, and I like it up there.  I’m not a musician, but I know what I like.  I’m not a music critic at all, so I can’t tell you how it sounds, but I know pretty much how it looks.

BD:   Does the music that’s going on in the opera influence the design or the execution at all, or are you just concerned with the visual aspects?

Pruett:   It’s pure visual from a designer standpoint.  You
ve got to think of what they’re doing, and where they are, and the time of day and the weather... if it’s supposed to be cloudy and raining, or whatever.  Then you take all those things into consideration.

BD:   You don’t need to be specific with this, but are there times when you look at a costume design, and you think, “What the heck is this?”

Pruett:   I see it every day of my life.  [Much laughter]  I don
t mean that in such a bad manner, it’s just personal taste has to creep into this.  I like certain designers more than others.  I cant understand why they would have designed this, but Im sure there was some reason for doing it, and personal taste has a lot to do with it.  I think that we could have done this a lot better, and made it a lot easier for the performer to wear.

BD:   Are there times when you can make a suggestion to a designer, that one little alteration would make it easier both to build and to wear, and still keep the concept?

Pruett:   We do a lot of that.  Oftentimes, a designer isn
t here because we rent productions.  They call it Out of Domain.  Theres a certain point after which you dont have to bring the designer back in.  So, we have nobody to ask.  It becomes myself and the director.  We do a lot when it comes to the artists themselves.  If I just really feel it would be uncomfortable, I ask if it would be okay.  It becomes a three-way compromise, but I really try to keep the integrity of the designer, because basically my job is to put it on the way the designer wants.  However, if I have somebody that looks totally ridiculous and totally uncomfortable, then Im going to change it, because ultimately its the singer that has to wear this stuff.  They have to really be comfortable to sing well on stage.  It’s not just a look-thing.  If you want to put armor on people, and things of that sort all the time, they still need to feel comfortable in their big arias.
*     *     *     *     *
BD:   How long have you been with the company?

Pruett:   Truly, I think it
s my 40th year, but Im not sure.  It’s 38, or 39, or 40.  I came here and I wasn’t working in the costume shop.  I came and I dressed.  I was a principal dresser for the first years.

BD:   Does that mean helping the artists into costumes?  [Costume design at left is for Madama Butterfly, the Harold Prince production of 1982, with costumes by Florence Klotz.  It was used in several seasons, with (among others)
Elena Mauti-Nunziata, Anna Tomowa-Sintow, Giulianno Ciannella, Vasile Moldoveanu, Peter Dvorský, Sesto Bruscantini, Richard Stilwell, Elena Zilio, Sharon Graham, Florindo Andreolli, Terry Cook, John Del Carlo, Mark S. Doss, Michelle Harman-Gulick; and Miguel Gómez-Martínez.]

Pruett:   Yes.  Most or all of the principal artists have their own dressers, especially if they have more than one costume, because usually the costume changes will be at the same time.  So, that’s what I did first, and then John Peters, who was the Head of Wardrobe said, “If you really have some time, we’d like for you to help us.
 So, I went there, not intending to stay, but here I am.  Many people take part-time jobs and are still here.

BD:   How has costuming changed at Lyric Opera over 40 years?

Pruett:   When I first started, we used costumes from the warehouse.  We had costumes from old Chicago Grand Opera Company that was the auditorium, but all we had were the costumes from the
20s.  We would schlep those out and put them on, many times using the same costumes for one opera repeated in another opera, because we didn’t have more clothing.  [Note: Several photos of productions from those former opera companies can be seen in my two reports, Wagner in Chicago Before Lyric, and Massenet, Mary Garden, and the Chicago Opera 1910-1932.  Besides the scenic shots, some of the photos of the principals were taken in Chicago, and thus show their costumes worn here (and probably elsewhere).]

BD:   Hopefully, it was sort of appropriate.

Pruett:   [Laughs]  Oh, kind-of-sort-of, as they say.  We might put a cape on, or add a coat or something to make it look different.  We’ve also put the chorus and principals in the same outfits.  We just didn
t have them.  Of course, now all things are designed, and we can generally pull from other productions to augment.

BD:   Is it getting to be too much of a problem?

Pruett:   No, no, no.  I love it.  [Wistfully]  I loved Traviata by Pier Luigi Pizzi, right down to the dressing table, with the mirror, and comb, and brush, and all the toiletries.  It was all Limoges china, and it was just fabulous.  He even designed the shoe buckles.  The stockings came along, and the flowers for the hair.  It was delightful.  It was the first time really that we had gotten something so complete.  I love it when it’s completely designed, but if it
s not, then we wing it.  Many times they’ll add something, like a super that they particularly want, and rather than make another costume, we go and borrow one from another production.  We do have a lot of clothing in the warehouse, an awful lot.

BD:   The costumes all have to be maintained.  Are they cleaned after each performance, or after each run?

Pruett:   After each run.  All of the things that are worn next to your skin
like the shirts, and stockings, and things that are washablewe wash every day.  Then, if we’re doing over eight performances, sometimes during that run if the dresses or the skirts are dirty, or the jackets have too much makeup, we clean them.  We do get the makeup off the jackets every day.

BD:   Mostly around the collar?

Pruett:   Yes, mostly around the collar, or if one would smell a little bit.  I do clean them halfway through if it
s ten performances.  I’ll choose some time that we can have it dry cleaned and come back in plenty of time.

BD:   When you know you have an extra day in between?

Pruett:   Yes.  We have a theatrical cleaner here in the city that comes after the show closes
say at midnightwho can pick stuff up, and have it back in the house at 10 o’clock in the morning.  They’re very good about that. They do it all over the city.

BD:   That’s their business?

Pruett:   That is their business.  They make their living from that.

ariadne BD:   Do you like being in the costume business?

Pruett:   Oh, I love it!  I really do.  I’m probably one of the luckiest people around that has a job, who gets paid for doing something I really enjoy.  I’m not a person who could do computer-work and be regimented from 9 to 5.  It’s hard work, it really truly is, but it’s different hard work every day.  Each day you come in and you have these problems, but at the end of the day, it’s usually over, and you just have a new set the next day.

BD:   But you’ve solved all the problems?

Pruett:   Yes, for that day.  Sometimes there’s a little leftover that you take home with you and worry about solving the next day, but generally, at the end of the day, everything on my list is pretty much crossed off.

BD:   I would assume that an opera with a large chorus would inherently just be more complicated for you?

Pruett:   Yes, depending on the style or period in which things are done.  We’ve been fortunate in our department.  The last couple of years we’ve had a lot of
robe-operas, as I call them, where there’s really not much to fit.  But this year, we’re doing an awful lot of fitted clothing... Gioconda, Romeo and Juliet, Traviata...

BD:   Meistersinger?

Pruett:   Yes, Meistersinger.  It’s done in a different period.  It’s done at the turn of the century, and the men are wearing frock coats.  In Act 1 they’re all in shades of light blue jackets and trousers, and the ladies are in blue dresses.  Act 2 is kind of the traditional night wear, and variations of that.  Then in Act 3, they’re all in white, white frock coats, white trousers, top hats.  It’s going to be interesting.  I’m so used to all of the traditional ways that everybody always does it, but I think it will be interesting.  It will be a big production.

BD:   You won’t get blamed for putting a costume in the wrong era?

Pruett:   Not me, certainly.  We blame it on the man who designed it, and put his name on it.

BD:   Is it your job at all to make sure that the costumes fit with the settings?

Pruett:   No, that’s strictly the designer.  If we make a new production and are responsible, then of course I do it, and we have to do the right period.  Or, if we’re going to add 60 frocks, then we have to make it in accordance with what the existing production is.  We’ve never made an entire production that I recall.  We’ve either made the chorus, or part of the principals, or just the principals and no chorus.  Usually it is parts of them, and we’re doing the same this year.  For Ariadne [shown in photo at right], some of the principals are new, but for others the designer liked some of our own clothing.  We’ve made several trips to the warehouse, and he’s using a lot of existing clothes.

BD:   If you rent a production from some place, but you make a bunch of costumes to go with it, Lyric then keeps the things that Lyric has made, and sends the rentals back so that it’s then split up again?

Pruett:   Exactly, which seems a really big waste sometimes.  I wish that we could really sell them to the people that own the production, but they don’t want to put any more money into the production.  We tend to have larger choruses, and supplementary choristers, and generally more people on stage because our stage is so large.

BD:   But then if a third company rents this production, do they know that Lyric has made these costumes and may be contacted?

Pruett:   When I send them back to the original costume house, or opera house where it comes from, I let them know what we have, and what colors, and what sizes.  So, if they would like, then they can always rent them from us.

BD:   Do you find some companies taking advantage of this and renting from us, or obtaining at least a few costumes from us?

Pruett:   No.

BD:   That’s too bad.  There should be more lend/lease.

Pruett:   We co-own things with Houston.  I think we co-own only one production with the Met, and we do own maybe three productions with San Francisco.

BD:   You have to coordinate the size of the stage?

Pruett:   Yes.  The Turandot, for example, is a combined effort.

lear BD:   What is perhaps the most complicated production you’ve had to do over 40 years?

Pruett:   Probably one that came from Dallas, called the Coronation of Poppea.  [That was in 1966, with Evelyn Lear [shown in photo at left], André Montal, Lothar Ostenberg, Teresa Berganza, Sylvia Stahlman, William Wildermann, Oralia Domínguez, and conducted by Bruno Bartoletti.]  Lear was a gorgeous, gorgeous woman.

BD:   Why was that complicated for costumes?

Pruett:   Because in those days they didn’t keep costume plots.  There was nothing to say Sally wears the blue dress in Act 1, the white in Act 2, and so forth.  Then, there were no numbers.  We didn’t know how many were in this group, or how many were in that group.  The designer had kept saying he would come.  He’s a dear friend of mine, so I don’t even want to mention his name, but he didn’t show up.  So, we just had to wing it, and make what our choral director and our stage director wanted.  But it was really a big, big to-do, with a lot of stuff, but it was enjoyable.  It was a wonderful production.

BD:   It worked very well.  I was afraid the public would leave because it was such old music, but they loved it, at least the night I was there.

Pruett:   I thought it was well-received, yes.

BD:   Do you want the public to think, “Boy, those costumes are wonderful,” or do you want them just to think it was a great opera?

Pruett:   Personally, I would love for them to say “God, this opera is gorgeous.”  But I’m not selfish in that respect, because I know that I’ve done the best that I could do with the money, and the time, and whatever I’ve had to work with.  I say I’m proud of it because it’s the best I could do under the circumstances.  I like the whole picture, as I’ve said earlier.  I do think we all should strive for just a look for the scene.  That seems to work for me.

BD:   What production over the years has been the simplest to do?

Pruett:   Probably Susannah [by Carlisle Floyd].  It was very simple cotton dresses and stuff that we made.  It was very simple, very, very simple.  Everybody always thinks Aïda is difficult to put on, but our production is very easy to put on.  There are just sixty of this, and fifty of that.  If we didn’t have a big ballet, we wouldn’t have very many problems.  We have got some interesting things this year.  Mahagonny is going to be quite different.

BD:   It will be interesting to see how the audience will react to that work.

Pruett:   Yes.  The costuming is quite different, too.  There are some very unusual things, like Santa Claus, and people in wet suits, and beach wear, and formal wear.  We’re running the gamut in this show.

BD:   Everything under the sun!

Pruett:   Everything, yes.  As a matter of fact, under the sun in Miami Beach is where it’s going to take place.

BD:   [Musing]  Mahagonny, Florida.

Pruett:   Yes, I think they’ve set it there.

BD:   Will the cataclysm be a hurricane?

Pruett:   We have an atomic explosion.  There will be a Jonestown thing, and they’re going to drink Kool-Aid at the end.  We call it the cold look.  It’s gray trousers, and white shirts, and black ties.  They’re going to have four or five refrigerators, and classic Kool-Aid pitchers.  We’ll see how it works.  You never know, you really don’t.  The principal costumes will be made in New York, but I’m doing the chorus of forty men.

tebaldi BD:   Do you make everything here, or do you go out and buy some things?

Pruett:   I’m buying a lot, because if you went to a costume house and bought a white dinner jacket, it’s probably around $2,000.  If we’re just going to make a jacket, it would be perhaps $700 to $800.  But I can buy them for $195, and it gives the look that we need.  I can pull my formal trousers from Traviata or some other opera.  We’re making the Miami Beach shorts and shirts.

BD:   Is there ever a case now where the principals come with their own costumes anymore?

Pruett:   No.  Not since Tebaldi [shown in photo at right], my favorite singer of all times.  She was the last to do it.  We’ve gotten costumes from the Met which were Sutherland
s, which she would travel with, but they really belong to the Met.  But Tebaldi’s were her own.  If they went with the production, that was good, and if they didn’t, it was too bad because those were her costumes and that’s what she was wearing.  She was a wonderful artist.  God, she was fabulous.  She would come backstage with all these furs and these glorious clothes, with her boyfriend, her manager, whatever, and her maid, and her dogs.  She was a Diva.  You just looked at her and you knew.  She would come down the halls from the stage entrance, and it was just like parting the seas.  It was her personality, her look.  I loved her voice, and I still do.

BD:   Do we still have Divas?

Pruett:   We have some who would like to think of themselves as Divas, but yes, I know the term of which you’re speaking.  Yes, we do.

BD:   Should we be getting away from that?

Pruett:   Yes.  The greatest problem a woman has is when she demands and goes through all these things that would make her unhappy, and make everybody around her unhappy.  It’s just an insecurity.  I always tell people that they can’t see you from the first row.  You’re up here in this fitting room, and you’re looking from three feet away.  You can see a little bump, but you don’t get the big picture at all.  Truly, in many cases, if a lot of singers would just let the costume designer or the person that’s fitting them do the adjustments and tell them how they look, they would be much better off.

BD:   Of course, that implies a lot of trust.

Pruett:   Yes, it does, and I’m sure that maybe in the past they’ve been fooled, but we don’t do that here in Lyric Opera.  I want them to look as good as possible, because it’s a reflection on me and my department.

BD:   Do you ever concern yourself at all with the person in the last row of the gallery, with those field glasses that let you count the hairs on the wigs?

Pruett:   I’m sure we all do that.  I don’t send out sloppy stuff, I really don’t.  If it’s missing a button, it’s replaced.  If something is torn or ripped, we go through the clothes after every performance.  Before it’s done again, every garment has been gone through, because if you don’t, if you let one instance go, if you let a tiny little tear remain, by the time it comes back the next time
or worse yet, during the sceneit gets caught, and is ripped right off.  Then you’re really in trouble.  So yes, we do a lot of maintenance.

BD:   In the end, is it all worth it?

Pruett:   [With a huge smile]  Yes!  Yes, of course, it is.  We hear this wonderful, wonderful sound, and we see these glorious, beautiful pictures.  Of course, it’s worth it.

BD:   Thank you for being part of Lyric for so many years.  I hope there are many more to come.

Pruett:   Oh, thank you.  Thank you very much.  It’s a pleasure.

[Note: In my interview with Lyric Operas Captain of Supers Ken Recu,
he speaks about several specific costume items and instances.

There are also some photos of interest to the topic.]



© 1998 Bruce Duffie

This conversation was recorded backstage at the Opera House in Chicago on September 3, 1998.  Portions were broadcast on WNIB the following November, and again in February of 1999.  This transcription was made in 2020, and posted on this website at that time.

To see a full list (with links) of interviews which have been transcribed and posted on this website, click here.  To read my thoughts on editing these interviews for print, as well as a few other interesting observations, click here.

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Award - winning broadcaster Bruce Duffie was with WNIB, Classical 97 in Chicago from 1975 until its final moment as a classical station in February of 2001.  His interviews have also appeared in various magazines and journals since 1980, and he now continues his broadcast series on WNUR-FM, as well as on Contemporary Classical Internet Radio.

You are invited to visit his website for more information about his work, including selected transcripts of other interviews, plus a full list of his guests.  He would also like to call your attention to the photos and information about his grandfather, who was a pioneer in the automotive field more than a century ago.  You may also send him E-Mail with comments, questions and suggestions.