The Red Death
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The Red Death is a fictional character first featured in Edgar Allan Poe's short story The Masque of the Red Death ( also The Mask of the Red Death) . A grotesque figure garbed in a blood stained robe similar to a death shroud and with a face resembling that of a corpse, it is the embodiment of the red death itself ( a fictional plague in the story) which has come to bring death to the nobles who vainly sought to escape its reach by hiding in an abbey. Various interpretations have been advanced by scholars as to how best to interpret the story with some insisting that it is a work of allegory while others contend that it something entirely different.
In The Phantom of the Opera , Erik dresses as the Red Death to the Masquerade Ball.
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Figura Obscura: The Masque of the Red Death by Four Horsemen Studios
Four Horsemen Studios
The Masque of the Red Death
Death comes for everyone. Riches and power and noble birth mean little to the cold embrace of the grave. In death all are equal, and none can escape its touch.
First published in 1842, Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death” is a Gothic fiction that relates the tale of a horrible plague and a group of wealthy nobles’ doomed attempt to escape from this dreaded disease. Of course, trying to hide from death is impossible, and the end is never in question, for as the final line of the short story states - And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.
The short story, “ The Masque of the Red Death ”, focuses on a terrible plague with gruesome symptoms. Victims of this disease are described as experiencing “ sharp pains ”, “ sudden dizziness ”, and “ profuse bleeding at the pores. ” The victims die within 30 minutes after experiencing symptoms, making the “Red Death”, as the plague becomes known, a particularly bloody and lethal sentence for those who contract it.
Ignoring the plight of the less fortunate souls suffering around them, Prince Prospero and 1000 fellow nobles retreat to the Prince’s abbey in order to wait out the plague amidst the luxury that their lofty stations afford them.
These nobles have the doors of the abbey welded shut, and the revelers believe they are safe from the horrors taking place outside their walls. They are so sure of their safety that Prince Prospero eventually decides to hold a masquerade ball in 7 rooms of his abbey. Each of these rooms is decorated in a specific color - blue, purple, green, orange, white, and violet. The panes of glass in each of these rooms are the same color as the room itself.
The final room where this lavish party is being held is black, but unlike the other six rooms, this final room’s panes of glass are a different color than the décor. In this room, the glass is a deep red, illuminating the space with a scarlet light that casts a blood-like glow about the room. Few revelers choose to venture into the ominous air of this final room, which also features a large ebony clock that chimes at the top of each hour. As soon as the clock begins to sound, all music and conversation at the party ceases, only to resume once the chimes are silent once again.
As the black clock tolls midnight during the masquerade, a mysterious red-robed figure enters the ball. He is dressed like the Red Death, and a crimson-hued skull mask adorns his face. The horrid countenance of this red-robed interloper is a chilling reminder of the bloody plague that the party-goes have sought to hide from.
Enraged by the impudence of this guest, Prince Prospero demands to know his identity, but no one knows who this mysterious figure may be, and he is allowed to pass unmolested through each of the first six rooms of the ball. Entering the final room, the Prince’s patience reaches an end. He draws a dagger and approaches his unwanted guest. The skull-faced interloper turns and Prince Prospero falls dead with a scream. Their host’s death spurs the other nobles to act and they rush the strange guest, removing his robes and tearing off his mask. Only then do they discover, much to their horror, that there is nothing there.
One by one, the nobles fall dead, the dreaded disease having somehow made its way into the walls of the abbey.
It should be noted that the “Red Death” is a fictional disease. Many have suggested that it was perhaps inspired by tuberculosis, which Poe’s wife Virginia was suffering from at the time of this story’s creation and publication. Others have suggested that the disease was inspired by cholera or the bubonic plague, but no clear evidence exists as to exactly where Poe drew inspiration from for the horrible disease referenced in the title of this short story.
The most obvious theme of this story is that of man’s futile attempts to cheat death, but Poe never explicitly states that this story was meant to carry any lessons, leaving readers to take from it what they will and draw their own conclusions.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1809, Edgar Allan Poe is best known for his short stories and poems, many of them exploring elements of the mysterious and the macabre. While often considered a “horror writer”, Poe’s literary contributions go well beyond this genre. He is one of the first American writers to embrace the short story format, and he may well be the creator of the detective fiction genre! His short story, “ Murders in the Rue Morgue ”, is often regarded as the very first detective story in the English-speaking world. That story was published in 1841. By contrast, the first Sherlock Holmes story, “ A Study in Scarlet ”, was not published until 1887, almost 50 years after Poe’s fictional detective, Auguste Dupin, was introduced.
Edgar Allan Poe enlisted in the United States Army under an assumed name in 1827. This was the same year he published his first collection – Tamerlane and Other Poems . It is believed that only 12 copies of this collection still exist, and the price of one of these rare editions is now worth more than Edgar Allan Poe made in his entire lifetime as a writer.
After a failed military career, Poe spent a number of years working for journals and periodicals as a literary critic. During this time he moved about extensively, living in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City. He was the first well-known American to make his living through writing alone, although his well-publicized vices, including a love of alcohol and gambling, resulted in a very difficult life for the writer.
Most commonly known for his short stories and poems, these were first available in a variety of publications, including Burton Gentlemen’s Magazine (“ The Fall of the House of Usher ” in 1839), the Saturday Evening Post (“ The Black Cat ” in 1843), the Pioneer (“ The Tell Tale Heart ” in 1843), Godey’s Lady’s Book ( “ The Cask of Amontillado ” in 1846), and Graham’s Magazine (the aforementioned “ The Murders in the Rue Morgue ” in 1841 and the poem “ The Conqueror Worm ” in 1843).
In January, 1845, Edgar Allan Poe published what is arguably his most popular and recognizable piece even today – the poem, “ The Raven .” This poem brought Poe instant recognition, but very little financial success. He was paid only $9 for its initial publication.
“ The Masque of the Red Death ” was published in 1842 in Graham’s Magazine, which, as we have outlined, also published a number of Poe’s other works. Originally released under the title, “ The Mask of the Red Death ”, this publication earned the author $12. It would later be reprinted with the title that is used today, and which we used for our latest Figura Obscura figure – “ The Masque of the Red Death .”
Edgar Allan Poe’s life was filled with excesses and lost loves. He married his 13-year old cousin in 1836, and buried her in 1847 when she died of tuberculosis. Poe followed his wife to the grave in 1849 at the age of 40. He was taken to Washington Medical Center in Baltimore, MD on October 3 rd in dire health. He was wearing clothing that was not his own and was never coherent enough to tell doctors what had landed him in such a horrid state. Rumor has it that he repeatedly called out the name “ Reynolds ” on the night before his death on October 7 th , and Poe’s attending physician claimed that the author’s final words were “ Lord help my poor soul ”.
All of the medical records from Poe’s death have been lost, including his death certificate, and the cause of Poe’s death remains a mystery. While substance abuse and suicide are often given as likely reasons for his demise, no clear evidence exists on this matter, adding to the unusual life of one of America’s most well-known, and yet also one of its most mysterious, authors.
The Red Death in Figura Obscura
The “Red Death” is the second Figura Obscura figure to be released around Halloween (following 2022’s Headless Horseman). Interestingly, the Red Death was not even on a short list of possible characters we were initially considering for this Halloween release. The idea for this character came to Eric Treadaway one evening after he was struggling to decide which character he wanted to explore next for Figura Obscura. He began work on the new figure the next day, the idea flowing freely once he finally decided to tackle this somewhat obscure literary character.
One of the challenges, as well as one of the opportunities, for the Red Death figure was the fact that there is very little description of the character in the short story. Additionally, unlike previous Figura Obscura characters, there really are no previously presented versions in popular media that are considered to be the definitive looks for this macabre character. Interestingly, one of the most well-known interpretations of the Red Death comes from another horror classic – Gaston Leroux’s “The Phantom of the Opera.” The 1925 film, as well as the ultra-popular stage play based on this story, both show Erik the Phantom attending a masquerade ball dressed as the Red Death. For our Figura Obscura release, we did not want to make this version, which is presented in a somewhat elegant looking masquerade-style costume. We wanted something that was creepier and more in line with the description from the original text, which reads:
The figure was tall and gaunt, and shrouded from head to foot in the habiliments of the grave. The mask which concealed the visage was made so nearly to resemble the countenance of a stiffened corpse that the closest scrutiny must have had difficulty in detecting the cheat.
Our Figura Obscura: The Masque of the Red Death figure features a gaunt, zombie-like body. Fans will recognize some of these “zombie-limbs” from the Poxxus figure in the Mythic Legions wave of the same name, as well as in our Undead Builder Pack from the Necronominus wave. This particular figure uses those previously shown limbs, but also includes body parts never seen before now - namely the lower arms and lower legs, torso, as well as a new waist piece and loin attachment, which can be seen in one of the images below.
The head on the Red Death is also brand new, and one of the most striking aspects of the figure is the skull-like mask that he wears. That mask is featured across various other items that are available as part of this special release, including pins, mugs, and t-shirts.
Another important aspect of this new Figura Obscura release is the red robes he wears. Once again, we turned to our partners at CJESIM to help us create these fully wired, soft goods robes. Eric designed the look of these garments during the creation of this figure, presenting the CJESIM team with images to get them started. They took those renders and absolutely nailed the “ habiliments of the grave ” look that we needed for this latest release.
A notable aspect of this latest Figura Obscura is the limited number of accessories he comes with. Our goal with all these releases is to include pieces that are relevant to the story. For some characters, like the Monkey King or Father Christmas, this translates into a large number of included accessories. For the Red Death, however, there really were very few items referenced in the story’s text that made sense to include with the toy. The Red Death does come with the dagger that Prince Prospero would’ve approached him with, as well as some extra sets of hands. The main accessory included with this figure is the large ebony clock that sits in the Prince’s abbey where this story takes place. Along with the clock, a pool of blood is also included as a base, likely from the doomed nobles who have fallen dead to the gruesome plague which they have all failed to escape. The Red Death figure may only include a few accessories, but the large diorama-like pieces it does include really add to the overall display of this figure.
Above you can see images of the “turns” for this new Figura Obscura release. Thank you again to Trevor “One-Six Shooter” Williams for all the amazing figure photography seen throughout this article.
The Art of the Masque of the Red Death
A Figura Obscura release just would not be the same without the stunning packaging artwork of Nate Baertsch. Once again this Figura Obscura packaging is covered with brand new artwork created specifically for this figure. The front panel features the Red Death himself as he reaches out to touch the onlooker with his blood-red hand. You can see that packaging below.
The inside of the magnetic front panel on Figura Obscura releases is the single largest and unobstructed area of each package. We have started to use this panel to provide an environment-like backdrop for these figures, or as we did in the case of the Red Death, an important scene. This large panel shows the nobles at the masquerade ball, and the 7 windows behind them reflect the rooms referenced in the story.
One interesting note on the artwork of this masquerade scene that you may not realize upon first seeing it is that Nate used the seven characters shown on this panel, and the masks that they wear, to reflect the seven deadly sins. Can you pick each of them out in the artwork below?
Behind the character on the inside of the package are the red-paned windows of the final room in the Prince’s suite, while scenes of the countryside and the horrible conditions of the plague make up the rest of the box’s panels. The entire presentation, with its heavy reliance on reds and blacks, creates a gothic-inspired packaging scene unlike any we have done to date, and one which is perfect for this new release.
In addition to the figure’s packaging, the artwork that Nate created was also used in a “The Masque of the Red Death” mini-comic that accompanies this release. Since this figure was based on a short story that some of our fans may have not read, we decided to include the full text of this story alongside Nate’s artwork to create a nice addition to this Figura Obscura character. Below you can see one of the page layouts from that mini-comic.
The Party Has Just Begun
The Masque of the Red Death is the fifth character to join the ranks of the Figura Obscura (that's why the teaser image had the hand of the clock on the number 5) - but this party is just getting started. We can already hear more characters from the worlds of legends and lore, literature and more clamoring to be called forth. Who will answer the call next? You will have to wait and see…
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The Masque of the Red Death
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Death claims the life of a young man. Illuminated image from a 15th-century French manuscript.
"The Masque of the Red Death" (originally published as "The Mask of the Red Death: A Fantasy" ) is a short story by the American horror author Edgar Allan Poe . It was first published in the May 1842 edition of Graham's Lady's and Gentleman's Magazine .
The story concerns the attempts by a prince and his followers to shield themselves from a terrible plague which is devastating the surrounding area and to carry on living lives of pleasure. Their attempts ultimately prove futile.
The story has been adapted for stage, screen and radio and has frequently been referenced in music and other works of literature . The best known adaptation of the story continues to be the 1964 film version of the story, directed by Roger Corman and starring Vincent Price.
- 2 Adaptations
- 4 External links
The Red Death is the name of an infectious disease which cuases people to die within thirty minutes. Those who are infected bleed profusely form their skin, especially their faces, before they die.
Half of Prince Prospero's subjects have died from the disease but the Prince, a man of unusual tastes whom some believe to be mad, is unconcerned. He believes that his home, a former abbey which has been converted into a fortress, will provide him with adequate protection from the plague and he invites a large number of knights and ladies to join him there. After Prince Prospero's guests have arrived, bolts on the abbey's doors are welded shut, making it impossible for anyone to get in or out. There is sufficient food and drink for the Prince's guest and musicians, dancers, actors and clowns to entertain them. For several months, the Prince and the other nobles continue to live happily inside the abbey, while people continue to die from the Red Death outside.
The Red Death takes the life of Prince Prospero. 1935 illustration by the British artist Arthur Rackham.
Some six months after the arrival of Prince Prospero's guests, a masked ball is held for them. The ball takes place in a suite of seven rooms, each one of which is primarily decorated and furnished in one color. The first room is blue, the second is purple, the third is green, the fourth is orange, the fifth is white, the sixth is violet and the seventh is black. Each room has a stained glass window of the same color as its furnishings, except for the black room which has a window of scarlet glass. There are no candles or any lights inside any of the seven rooms, the only light comes from fires in braziers in the hallway. The effect of the firelight coming through the scarlet window into the black room is so frightening that very few of the Prince's guests dare enter it. The black room also contains an ebony clock which makes a strange and frightening sound every time it strikes the hour. Each time that the clock strikes, the musicians stop playing and the guests stop dancing. After it has finished striking, all of those present laugh at themselves for being frightened by a clock. However, they react in the same way again when the next hour strikes.
When the clock strikes midnight, the twelve chimes make everyone pause for a longer time. They suddenly notice someone that they had not seen until that moment. Although many of the guests are wearing costumes which might shock, horrify or disgust many people, everyone is offended by the masked figure which they have just noticed. His mask looks exactly like the face of someone who has died from the Red Death. Prince Prospero orders that the person be unmasked and hanged the following day but the masked figure continues to walk calmly and slowly through the suite of seven rooms. Prince Prospero draws a dagger and chases after him. Arriving in the black room, the Prince grabs the masked figure and immediately falls down dead. The other guest rush towards the figure. They take off his mask but find that there is no face behind it. They realize that they are in the presence of the Red Death itself. All of the guests die, the clock stops and the fires in the braziers go out.
Adaptations [ ]
The Phantom costumed as the Red Death in the 1925 movie The Phantom of the Opera .
Gaston Leroux 's novel The Phantom of the Opera contains a chapter in which the Phantom crashes a masked ball at the Paris Opera House wearing a skull mask and an elaborate red costume with the words "I am the Red Death which passes" embroidered on it in gold. In the 1925 silent film adaptation of the novel, the scene in which the Phantom appears as the Red Death is the only scene which was filmed in Technicolor in an otherwise all black and white movie. The Phantom also appears costumed as the Red Death in the 1986 stage musical The Phantom of the Opera and its 2004 movie adaptation.
The Masque of the Red Death , a horror film based on Poe's story, was released in 1964. The movie was produced and directed by Roger Corman and stars Vincent Price as Prince Prospero. The British actresses Hazel Court and Jane Asher appear in supporting roles. Hazel Court plays Prince Prospero's mistress Juliana and Jane Asher plays Francesca, a peasant girl that Prince Prospero attempts to seduce. A sub-plot in the movie is based on " Hop-Frog ", another short story by Poe. The dwarf jester, whose name is changed from Hop-Frog to Hop-Toad in the film, is played by Skip Martin.
A remake of the 1964 film, also produced by Roger Corman, was released in 1989. It was directed by Larry Brand and Jeffrey Delman. It stars the British actor Adrian Paul as Prince Prospero and features the British-born actor Patrick Macnee as the personified Red Death.
1935 illustration for "The Masque of the Red Death" by the British artist Arthur Rackham.
The 2013 animated film Extraordinary Tales , directed by Raul Garcia and co-produced by production companies from Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain and the United States, is made up of five segments based on the Edgar Allan Poe stories " The Fall of the House of Usher ", " The Tell-Tale Heart ", " The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar ", " The Pit and the Pendulum " and "The Masque of the Red Death". Extraordinary Tales is the third film version of "The Masque of the Red Death" with which Roger Corman has been involved because he voices Prince Prospero in the segment based on the tale.
"The Masque of the Red Death" was adapted for American radio as an episode of CBS Radio Mystery Theatre , first broadcast on January 10, 1975, and as an episode of American Masters that first aired on NPR on October 29, 1996. The American Masters adaptation features music by the author and composer Winifred Phillips, who also narrates the story.
The play The Masque of the Red Death was written by members of the British theater group Punchdrunk. It was first performed at the Battersea Arts Centre in south-west London on September 17, 2007 and continued to be performed there until April 2008. The play involved audience participation and combined elements of contemporary dance and interpretive dance with traditional acting. in addition to "The Masque of the Red Death", the play also drew inspiration from the Edgar Allan Poe stories " Berenice ", " The Black Cat ", " The Cask of Amontillado ", "The Fall of the House of Usher", " Ligeia ", "The System of Doctor Tar and Professor Fether", "The Tell-Tale Heart" and " William Wilson ".
Numerous picture book, comic book, graphic novel and manag-style adaptations of "The Masque of the Red Death" have been issued by publishers around the world.
Several different audiobook adaptations of "The Masque of the Red Death" have been released over the years. Those who have recorded readings of the story include the British actor Basil Rathbone, the British actor Christopher Lee, the Irish actor Gabriel Byrne and the American actor Hurd Hatfield (best known for playing the title character in the 1945 movie adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray ).
"The Masque of the Red Death" and its 1964 film adaptation have also inspired numerous pieces of music, especially within the hard rock and heavy metal genres.
See also [ ]
External links [ ].
- Text of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death" on Wikisource.
- Fan made audiobook of "The Masque of the Red Death" on YouTube.
- "The Masque of the Red Death" on the SparkNotes website.
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The Phantom of the Opera
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Fans get emotional at final ‘phantom of the opera;’ ‘it may come back,’ andrew lloyd weber says.
Barry Williams/for New York Daily News
Fans watch the red carpet outside the Majestic Theatre before the last performance of Phantom of the Opera Sunday, April, 16, 2023 in Manhattan, New York.
Sarah Rosenau, 36, second from the left, waits in line outside the Majestic Theatre to see the last performance of Phantom of the Opera Sunday, April, 16, 2023 in Manhattan, New York. Rosenau has seen the play 45 times.
Barry Williams for New York Daily News
Sen. Chuck Schumer arrives on the red carpet outside the Majestic Theatre before the "Phantom of the Opera's" last performance on Sunday, April 16, 2023, in Manhattan.
"Phantom of the Opera" makes its last curtain call after the last performance on Sunday, April 16, 2023, in Manhattan.
Andrew Lloyd Weber and Sarah Brightman are pictured during "Phantom of the Opera's" last curtain call after the last performance on Sunday, April 16, 2023, in Manhattan.
Emilie Kouatchou, who plays Christine, is pictured as "Phantom of the Opera" makes its last curtain call after the last performance on Sunday, April 16, 2023, in Manhattan.
Andrew Lloyd Weber gets a hug from Sarah Brightman, the actress who played Meg in the first production of "Phantom of the Opera" during the last performance on Sunday, April 16, 2023, in Manhattan.
Meghan Picerno, who played Christine in "Phantom of the Opera," poses on the red carpet outside the Majestic Theatre before the last performance on Sunday, April 16, 2023, in Manhattan.
Lin-Manuel Miranda poses on the red carpet outside the Majestic Theatre before the "Phantom of the Opera's" last performance on Sunday, April 16, 2023, in Manhattan.
Current cast members take the stage during "Phantom of the Opera's" last performance on Sunday, April 16, 2023, in Manhattan.
Fans watch the red carpet outside the Majestic Theatre before the last performance on Sunday, April 16, 2023, in Manhattan.
Glenn Close poses on the red carpet outside the Majestic Theatre before the "Phantom of the Opera's" last performance on Sunday, April 16, 2023, in Manhattan.
Lexie Lohrs of Maryland poses in a Phantom costume outside the Majestic Theatre before the last performance on Sunday, April 16, 2023, in Manhattan.
Sierra Boggess, who played Christine Daae in Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Phantom of the Opera" in both the Las Vegas production and the 2011 25th Anniversary production at the Royal Albert Hall, poses outside the Majestic Theatre before the last performance on Sunday, April 16, 2023, in Manhattan.
Ali Ewoldt, the first Asian-American actress to star as Christine Daae in "Phantom of the Opera," poses on the red carpet outside the Majestic Theatre before the last performance on Sunday, April 16, 2023, in Manhattan.
Jamie Samson, poses in his red death costume, outside the Majestic Theatre before the last performance of Phantom of the Opera Sunday, April, 16, 2023 in Manhattan, New York. Samson has seen the play 15 times.
The curtain and the famed chandelier came down one last time Sunday for Broadway’s “Phantom of the Opera” — though maestro Andrew Lloyd Weber hinted the beloved show may eventually come back.
Throngs of devotees filled the sidewalks on W. 44th St. ahead of the final performance of the show , taking photos and straining for a glimpse of stars walking the red carpet outside the Majestic Theatre.
Mega-fan Sarah Rosenau, 36, waited at the front of the line of ticket holders, wearing a floor-length gown and a tiara. The Texan said she has seen the show 45 times, since she was 11 years old.
“I love it. It’s been a part of my life,” she said, getting teary at the idea that it’s over. “It’s not easy. It’s really super emotional to lose it.”
Amid fan screams during the curtain call, Weber made an unscheduled appearance and dropped some tantalizing remarks.
“It may come back. You never know,” he said. “But what I would like to say, though, is if it was going to go out with a bang, it couldn’t have gone out with a better performance.”
Actress Sarah Brightman, who once starred as the show’s leading lady Christine Daaé , was on hand for the emotional occasion. She voiced conviction that “Phantom” will return to the stage, saying fans should take heart.
“I think that they don’t have to worry because it’s going to come back,” the actress asserted. “It’s a classic, and classics always come back.
“It’s been lovely to be part of it,” she added. “It touches on all human emotions all the way through.”
Sunday’s show was the 13,981st since it opened in 1988.
“I don’t think anybody, any of us thought that the ‘Phantom’ would go out with quite the bang it has,” Weber said on stage.
The blockbuster musical about love and obsession by Andrew Lloyd Webber has shattered records for advance sales, capitalization, total gross, total attendance and longevity, according to its producers.
Fan Jamie Samson, 38, especially admires the elaborate sets and opulence.
“I love the attention to detail. It’s just perfection,” he said outside the theater as he sported a Red Death costume derived from the show.
“Phantom” was the first show Samson ever saw on Broadway, where he now works making costumes.
“It’s a proper send-off,” he said. “It’s one big full-circle moment for me.
“It’s a thrill. It’s a joy,” he added. “It’s bittersweet, it’s thrilling, it’s devastating — all of the feelings all in one. It’s an end of an era.”
“Phantom” became Broadway’s longest-running show more than 17 years ago, in January 2006, and the glitzy production has employed an estimated 6,500 people, including 450 actors, since it opened.
Stars in the audience included Glenn Close.
“It was incredibly moving,” she remarked after the performance.
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"Masque Of The Red Death" Phantom Of The Opera
Review by NekroDave
With beautiful, bright red flowing robes and a feathered hat, this 12" figure of The Phantom of the Opera decked out as the Red Death is a real standout doll. Fully articulated like all the Sideshow dolls, the real draw here is the costume. It's just so eye-catching.
I think the sculpt of the face is the same as the regular 12" Phantom , just painted differently. But that's ok since in all likelihood you'll want to display this with the mask on. The mask is beautifully done and stays on just by pressing it to the front of the face. There are holes for eyes and if you look closely you can see the eyes in the head underneath.
Besides the hat and clothing, the other accessories are the standard base (best to get yourself a 12" doll stand though) and a staff. The staff has a snake winding up to the top and a skull in the mouth of the snake. As with other figures in the lineup, it would be better if this had a unique hand designed to actually hold his own accessory but unfortunately that is not the case. The best way to display it is to simply put it in his left hand and let the bottom end rest on your display surface for stability.
This is a great figure and a huge improvement over their 8" Red Death Phantom . It was released in 2002 and limited to 7,500 pieces. Maybe the only thing I don't like about it is that the box art is a little bland, especially in comparison to the figure itself. The artwork from the poster depicts the scene in the movie, but doesn't actually show the skull face of the Red Death!
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Velvet, Organza and Vipers: Stage Costumes Dazzle
An exhibition offers a close-up look at “Hamilton,” “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” and more. Here are 10 highlights.
Costumes from the Broadway production of “Aladdin” are among the highlights of the exhibition “Showstoppers! Spectacular Costumes From Stage and Screen.” Credit... An Rong Xu for The New York Times
By Alexis Soloski
- Published Aug. 12, 2021 Updated Aug. 13, 2021
Here is what you can’t see from the rear mezzanine of a theater: the flocked velvet, the ruby-like rhinestones, the layered fabrics that shape a lush rosette atop each dance pump. This is the Red Death costume from the “Masquerade” number in “The Phantom of the Opera.” A carnival of flocked velvet and gold braid, it integrates art and craft, glamour and kitsch, fantasy and hand-sewn reality.
Red Death awaits you on the lower level of “Showstoppers! Spectacular Costumes From Stage and Screen,” a pop-up exhibition to benefit the recently formed Costume Industry Coalition , an alliance of over 50 New York City-based small businesses and independent artisans.
On Broadway, even in the best seats, an orchestra pit separates you from the finery. At “Showstoppers!,” which runs through Sept. 26 in a former Modell’s branch in Times Square, you can stand close enough to make out individual threads.
When theaters went dark last year because of the pandemic, costume fabricators had to close up shop, too. Designers are the visible faces of this industry — they’re the ones who collect the Tony Awards, though not during the broadcast portions of the ceremony. But while they dream up the costumes, it is the fabricators — the tailors and seamstresses and embroiderers and weavers and beaders and pleaters and painters and milliners and glovers and cobblers — who actually build them.
“We create the three-dimensional moving piece of art,” Brian Blythe, one of the exhibition’s organizers, said. Many of the pieces are couture items, built on the bodies of individual performers and retired when those actors leave a show.
“Showstoppers!” displays 100-odd costumes, as well as a handful of the tools used to make them, like millinery blocks and a 19th-century crewel machine from the embroiderers Penn & Fletcher.
The exhibition was put together in three and a half months, and its lighting, sound and design (from Thinc Design) were provided at cost or gratis. So it feels inevitably ad hoc. The Broadway and opera displays put their custom-shod feet forward; the film, television, theme park and dance portions hang back. The selection reflects less a dedication vision, and more what could be begged, borrowed or briskly replicated.
But what’s more theatrical than a let’s-put-on-a-show ethos?
Not every garment benefits from close study. Some need the alchemy of star power and stage lighting to shine. Still, each testifies to the men and women (mostly women), who have patiently attached every ribbon and rhinestone. A handful of these craftspeople will be on site, plying their spangled trades during opening hours. Here are 10 highlights from the show.
‘The Cher Show’
“The Cher Show” apportioned its heroine’s life among three actresses, referred to in the biomusical as Babe, Star and Lady. The exhibition includes the costumes for all three of them in the number “If I Could Turn Back Time,” a slinky triptych of velvet, rhinestones and boots. When Cher came to see the Broadway show, she reminded the designer Bob Mackie that she hadn’t actually worn the glamorous bat wings that crown the display. “You would have if I’d drawn them,” he told her.
A few steps away huddle replicas of the outfits for “Six,” a pop musical about the six wives of Henry VIII that was originally set to open the day Broadway shut down. The Tudor-inspired minidresses are built from plastics, vinyl and the occasional Swarovski crystal. They gesture to the 16th-century — the lattice patterning, the corsetry — but also the likes of contemporary stars such as Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande. Thousands of metal studs, some so sharp they could cut you, adorn the outfits. Each boasts a personalized mic holster.
One of the exhibition’s displays pays tribute to Disney’s Broadway dominance. (“Frozen” announced its closure during the pandemic, but “Aladdin” and “The Lion King” will soon reopen.) Up close, the “Aladdin” costumes offer astonishing intricacies, like the beaded birds and flowering vines that meander up and down Aladdin’s turquoise robe. The delicate embroidery on Jasmine’s pink skirts may be difficult to discern without a close-up look, but see how it contrasts with the unapologetic opulence of her top.
‘The Lion King’
Perhaps the most memorable element of “The Lion King” is its life-size animal heads, designed by the director Julie Taymor and the mask and puppet designer Michael Curry. (The Victoria and Albert Museum in London has acquired two of them for its theater and performance collection.) But “Showstopper!” shows the complexity of subtler costumes. Take the grasslands corset: Strands of rope form a skirt below. Above, cloth blades are loomed, by hand, into more rope to create a bodice at once enduring and delicate.
‘Moulin Rouge! The Musical’
Diamonds are forever. Ostrich feather boas are not. In the Sparkling Diamond look from “Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” the courtesan Satine perches in a swing in a strapless gown, a top hat, high-heeled boots and a necklace that could strain the cervical vertebrae. There are diamanté rhinestones in a firework pattern on the heart-shaped bodice, individual gems sewn to the stockings. Even the boots’ heels sparkle. In a nod to Satine’s vulnerability, the skirt — made of ostrich feathers and mylar tinsel — softens her look’s diamond hardness.
During the “One Short Day” number from “Wicked,” the school-age witches Glinda and Elphaba arrive in the Emerald City, off to see the wizard. The verdant costume for just one townswoman involves 900 yards of ombré-dyed organza ribbon. (It gives the effect of an ordinary day dress overrun with lettuce.) The dress’s skirt has a kick pleat, and if you glance beneath it, you’ll find five layers of underskirt, three of them meticulously embroidered, just in case the performer lifts her dancing shoe.
When Paul Tazewell was designing the costumes for “Hamilton,” the musical’s creator and star, Lin-Manuel Miranda, told him that Hamilton’s suit ought to be green. Not just any green, but the color of money. (Pity the costume assistant who had to visit the city’s fabric stores, clutching a 10-dollar bill.) The final outfit is ultimately more lush than cash, and it yields other surprises, too: like the feminine lace at each cuff, and the waterfall ruff that encircles the neck.
Wing + Weft Gloves
Some of the gloves from Wing + Weft, the last glove-maker in the garment district, have built-in claws. Others are sequined, feathered, fringed, beaded, buttoned, ruched and pearled. The studio designs for theater, film and television, and (along with its immediate predecessor, Lacrasia Gloves) have also gloved a dozen first ladies. But many of the most splendid creations seen here are for drag and burlesque — gloves designed to be worn and then, finger by finger, flirtatiously removed.
‘Phantom of the Opera’
The Phantom’s Red Death outfit is so top-heavy, it’s surprising that it hasn’t caused actors to fall down the stairs in “Masquerade.” There’s the feather-bedecked cavalier hat, the skull mask, the beads, rubies, buttons, trim and sofa’s worth of tassels that pull together the stomacher, a Renaissance-era decorated panel. Turn your back on that outfits, and you will find designs from another archetypical scene — Christine’s white nightgown and the Phantom’s black cape from “The Music of the Night.”
Take one look at Medusa, and you’ll turn to stone. That won’t happen at “Showstoppers!,” but when you see this mannequin dressed in the Medusa costume from Heartbeat Opera’s “Dragus Maximus,” a queer take on the Homeric myths, you might stop cold. The gown is wreathed in vipers, each of them 3-D printed at the behest of the designer Miodrag Guberinic. Compared with the other looks on view, it’s has a less artisanal approach, but it’s no less intricate or exciting. And it hints at fabrication’s future.
Showstoppers! Spectacular Costumes From Stage and Screen Through Sept. 26 at 234 West 42nd Street; showstoppersnyc.com.
An earlier version of a picture caption with this article misidentified one of the costumes from a Broadway production. It was in “Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” not “The Cher Show.”
An earlier version of this article misidentified the creator of the Medusa costume in “Dragus Maximus.” It was designed by Miodrag Guberinic, not Fabian Fidel Aguilar.
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Monday, December 15, 2008
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My favourite part of The Phantom of the Opera is that part, the chapter "At the Masked Ball". I also love the story, The Masque of the Red Death. A very insightful read. :)
Great writing, and the comparison is well made. This blog, and this post in particular, is a wonderous place to muse on the intriacies of Phantom. I have filled notebooks with musing like yours...but you actually managed to make them coherent. Amazing job.
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Red Death (Phantom of the Opera) Costume for Cosplay & Halloween 2023
How to make red death’s costume from phantom of the opera.
Look like the eye-catching Red Death from the masquerade scene at Phantom of the Opera with these items below:
The Red Death costume features an all-red ensemble. It comes with a red button-down top paired with loose red pants, too. It also has a regal-looking red cape with vintage puff sleeves, like ones worn by Renaissance kings. Nail the costume with black shoes and a red hat with a feather detail. Cop a white skull mask as the focal point of the costume, too!
About Red Death
The Red Death is a costume worn by Erik in the musical franchise Phantom of the Opera . It is believed that the Red Death is inspired from Edgar Allan Poe ’s The Mask of the Red Death .
The Red Death is believed to have been a plaque, decked in blood and is out to take the lives of people. The story depicts a Prince Prospero, who tries to avoid the plaque by hiding and holding masquerade balls in an abbey. The Red Death comes and takes his life, along with the guests.
Sans (Undertale) Costume
Sans cosutme is a body of skeleton with a dimpled face skull and wears a white T-shirt topped with a blue hooded jacket, baggy black pants, and gray shoes
Grim Reaper Costume
The grim reaper costume should be very dark and scary, but can be also made to look stylish while also being horrific.
Crimson Ghost Costume
Crimson Ghost’s costume is a long-sleeved black shirt, black pants, black shoes, a black robe cloak, skeleton gloves, and a Crimson Ghost mask.
The Forever Purge Cowboy Costume
The Forever Purge Cowboy wears a cowboy hat with horns, a skull mask, and a sash of bullets. He has a leather jacket, dark pants, and cowboy boots. He also carries an axe and a gun.
Error Sans (Undertale) Costume
Error Sans’ costume is a red shirt, black hoodie, black shorts, red tights, and a Sans mask. AUs shouldn’t exist according to Error Sans.
Death (Family Guy) Costume
Death’s whole look is cliché, which makes him all the more humorous. He has skeletal hands and feet, wears a hooded black robe and brown sandals, and holds a scythe.
US and UK hint at military action after largest Houthi attack in Red Sea
- Published 11 January
- Israel-Gaza war
The US and UK have hinted they could take military action against Yemen's Houthi rebels, after they repelled the largest attack yet on Red Sea shipping.
Carrier-based jets and warships shot down 21 drones and missiles launched by the Iran-backed group on Tuesday night.
The UN Security Council passed a resolution on Wednesday demanding an immediate end to the Houthi attacks.
The text endorsed the right of UN member states to defend their vessels. The Houthis reacted scornfully to it.
Their spokesman Mohammed Ali al-Houthi called the resolution a "political game". They claim to be targeting Israeli-linked vessels, in protest at Israel's war against Hamas in Gaza.
The UN resolution demanded "that the Houthis immediately cease all such attacks, which impede global commerce and undermine navigational rights and freedoms as well as regional peace and security". Eleven nations voted for it, but Russia, China, Mozambique and Algeria abstained.
Earlier, the US and several allies warned of "consequences" for the Houthi attacks in the Red Sea. Asked about potential strikes in Yemen, UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said: "Watch this space."
The International Chamber of Shipping says 20% of the world's container ships are now avoiding the Red Sea and using the much longer route around the southern tip of Africa instead.
The Houthis said they targeted a US ship on Tuesday providing support to Israel. It was the 26th attack on commercial shipping in the Red Sea since 19 November.
- Hard choices for the West in Red Sea stand-off
- What do Red Sea assaults mean for global trade?
- Listen: Who are the Houthi rebels - BBC Sounds
The US military said Iranian-designed one-way attack drones, anti-ship cruise missiles and anti-ship ballistic missiles were launched from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen at around 21:15 local time (18:15 GMT).
Eighteen drones, two cruise missiles and one ballistic missile were shot down by F/A-18 warplanes from the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D Eisenhower, which is deployed in the Red Sea, and by four destroyers, the USS Gravely, USS Laboon, USS Mason and HMS Diamond.
HMS Diamond shot down seven of the Houthi drones using its guns and Sea Viper missiles, each costing more than £1m ($1.3m), a defence source said.
No injuries or damage were reported.
Later, Houthi military spokesman Yahya al-Sarea confirmed its forces had carried out an operation involving "a large number of ballistic and naval missiles and drones".
"It targeted a US ship that was providing support for the Zionist entity [Israel]," he said.
"The operation came as an initial response to the treacherous assault on our naval forces by the US enemy forces," he added, referring to the sinking of three Houthi speed boats and killing of their crews by US Navy helicopters during an attempted attack on a container ship on 31 December .
He added that the rebels would "not hesitate to adequately deal with all hostile threats as part of the legitimate right to defend our country, people and nation".
Mr Sarea also reiterated that the Houthis would continue to "prevent Israeli ships or ships heading towards occupied Palestine from navigating in both the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea until the [Israeli] aggression [on Gaza] has come to an end and the blockade has been lifted".
A spokesperson for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said he was "very concerned" because of the risks the situation posed to global trade, the environment and lives, as well as the "risk of the escalation of the broader conflict in the Middle East".
Mr Shapps warned on Wednesday that the UK and its allies had "previously made clear that these illegal attacks are completely unacceptable and if continued the Houthis will bear the consequences".
"We will take the action needed to protect innocent lives and the global economy," he added.
Later, the defence secretary said in a TV interview that Iran was "behind so much of the bad things happening in the region" and warned the Islamic Republic and the Houthis that there would be "consequences" if the attacks on shipping did not stop.
Asked if there could be Western military action against Houthi targets in Yemen, or even targets inside Iran, he replied: "I can't go into details but can say the joint statement we issued set out a very clear path that if this doesn't stop then action will be taken. So, I'm afraid the simplest thing to say [is] 'watch this space'."
He was referring to a statement put out a week ago by the UK, US, Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Korea and Singapore, who launched "Operation Prosperity Guardian" last month to protect Red Sea shipping.
They said the attacks posed "a direct threat to the freedom of navigation that serves as the bedrock of global trade in one of the world's most critical waterways".
It may not have had the bravado of Mr Shapps' "watch this space" warning, but US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was also clear in his condemnation of the incident.
Speaking to reporters at an airport in Bahrain during a Middle East tour, he was pressed by BBC North America correspondent Anthony Zurcher about whether it was time that talk of consequences turned to US action.
Mr Blinken responded that he did not want to "telegraph" a US military move, but that he had spent the past four days in the region warning the Houthis to cease their aggression.
They have not only refused, but after this latest strike have claimed they are specifically targeting US ships.
Almost 15% of global seaborne trade passes through the Red Sea, which is linked to the Mediterranean by the Suez canal and is the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia.
The fear is that fuel prices will rise and supply chains will be damaged.
The Houthis say they have been targeting Israeli-owned or Israel-bound vessels to show their support for the Iran-backed Palestinian group Hamas since the start of the war in Gaza in October.
Formally known as the Ansar Allah (Partisans of God), the Houthis began as a movement that championed Yemen's Zaidi Shia Muslim minority.
In 2014, they took control of the capital, Sanaa, and seized large parts of western Yemen the following year, prompting a Saudi-led coalition to intervene in support of the international-recognised Yemeni government.
The ensuing war has reportedly killed more than 150,000 people and left 21 million others in need of humanitarian assistance.
Saudi Arabia and the US have accused Iran of smuggling weapons, including drones and cruise and ballistic missiles, to the Houthis in violation of a UN arms embargo. Iran has denied the allegation.
- Global trade
- Shipping industry
- Grant Shapps
- United States
Red Sea attacks: 'Our costs have jumped 250%'
- Published 3 January
UK says it will repel Houthi Red Sea attacks
- Published 1 January
US destroys Houthi boats after Red Sea hijack attempt
- Published 31 December 2023
Who are the Houthis attacking Red Sea ships?
- Published 5 days ago
BP pauses all Red Sea shipments after rebel attacks
- Published 18 December 2023