Alejo Vietti

StageNotes - A Christmas Carol

Artist to Artist

A Conversation with Alejo Vietti, A Christmas Carol Costume Designer

By William Steinberger, Artistic Apprentice 

Alejo ViettiHow did you get involved with Hartford Stage’s A Christmas Carol in 2013?

I got involved through Michael Wilson, whom I worked with the first time on a production of The Mystery of Irma Vep, as well as a production of A Christmas Carol, at the Alley Theatre in Houston.

You spearheaded a substantial re-design of A Christmas Carol’s costumes that year. Could you tell us about your inspiration and goals with that year’s new costumes?

It was a particular situation, as I had to re-design the show knowing that we would not be able to build all the costumes in the first year. So, I re-designed the show in a way that we could filter in the new costumes while still using some of the costumes from the old production. The inspiration came through many different sources: Visconti movies, Scandinavian art, and Victorian etchings, to name a few. I wanted to play more with the different social classes and introduce the fantasy elements through the three ghosts and the ghostly apparitions, as well.

Which character’s costume went through the most substantial re-design? What was most important to you in re-conceiving this costume?

One of the new costumes that we are introducing this season is a re-design for the Ghost of Christmas Past. We kept the white palette, but we moved the silhouette from the 18th century to the 19th century. The dress is playful, airier, and much more sparkling. There’s a big magical quality to this costume. It’s some kind of cross between Mozart’s Queen of the Night from Magic Flute, the Snow Queen, and a ballerina. There’s a fairy element to this new costume that has the nostalgia of an antique doll, which I think that the audience will really enjoy.

You’re a native of Argentina. Do you have any favorite Argentinian Christmas traditions?

In Argentina, the important celebration is the dinner on Christmas eve, on December 24. Families get together around the table, and we all toast at midnight and open presents under the tree. Having Christmas during the summer – it’s quite a different experience!