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As the head of the men’s costume shop at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, Ute Hiltl was responsible for overseeing the creation of all of the men’s costumes. She was charged with managing every aspect of the process from design, fitting and building of each garment. Ute worked closely with the designers and directors to ensure that each costume complemented the set, scene and performer.

Ute worked on productions including Figaro, Don Giovanni, Lohengrin, Aida, Queen of Spades and many others.

From a designer’s point of view, Ms. Hiltl is a valuable and gifted collaborator. She brings to her work comprehensive knowledge of historical silhouette and period construction plus an agile ingenuity for realization of new designs.

Ms. Hiltl’s command of 18th century construction is exceptionally complete and detailed as seen in the televised MetOpera productions of Don Giovanni (my designs), Le Nozze di Figaro (James Acheson designs), and Pique Dame (Mark Thompson designs). Placido Domingo was so pleased with his Pique Dame greatcoat that, I notice, he has borrowed it several times for use at other opera houses.

On a personal note, Ms. Hiltl is reliable, focused, witty and supportive. These qualities together with her technical abilities define as an ideal collaborator to designers. Her responsive attitude frees the designer to work with maximum creativity. I recommend Ms. Hiltl to your consideration with the utmost confidence.

Sylvia Taalsohn Nolan

Resident Costume Designer, MetOpera

Around the World With a Pencil...

Ute’s dedication to her craft knows no bounds. In creating the costumes for the men’s chorus in Lohengrin, Ute used over 100 pencils to carefully draw lines for the plastic boning that was inserted between the layers of fabric for each costume. With over 150 yards of boning in each robe, Ute meticulously drew enough lines to nearly circle the globe! (24,000 km)

1998, Lohengrin

The Metropolitan Opera


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