In the costume department, consisting of one atelier for ballet and one for opera, you’ll always hear a sewing machine rattling and see the most amazing fabrics. The ballet costumes are made of special materials that have to be incredibly strong yet light as a feather. For the opera, costumes are made not only for the soloists, but also for the 60 members of the chorus. Costume designers dream up what the costumes will look like, but it is the cutters who actually make them. Good cutters, often with their own specialism, are few and far between. Some are specially trained to make men’s costumes while others specialise in women’s costumes.