So you heard I'm in the Opera right?

A couple of months ago, my wife put a challenge in front of me: She gets emails about acting opportunities around town, and the Portland Opera was looking for Supernumeraries (Supers) for their upcoming production of Fidelio.

“What’s a Super again?” Apparently Supers are the moving human scenery in the background, that make up the crowd scenes, or are somehow used to enhance the show. We had been to several seasons of operas, so I had often wondered who all those people were… as in Norma, or Turandot… what fun it seemed to wear the great costumes and gesture and march about.

How bad could that be? So we signed up, and anticipated the coming rehearsals (which was to me a grueling schedule of weekday and weekend evenings coming up. (They even scheduled rehearsal on Halloween for god’s sake…

A minute for the plot first… Fidelio is Beethoven’s only opera, which takes place in a Spanish prison. Essentially Florestan is held prisoner, and he has become “inconvenient” for the Prison master Pizarro, and he must be killed.  Florestan has a loving wife, Leonora, who takes on the role of a boy, “Fidelio” (Don’t they always in these things?) to get a job at the prison, to be close to Florestan, and of course to change the course of history. This allows the usual mixups (The daughter of Rocco (second in command) falls in love with Fidelio, etc. Jailarity ensues.. and all ends well eventually…

First hitch.  It turns out that the male role that they slated me for was a prisoner. Cool I thought… bunch of guys singing.. I can do that… AND, well, I need to be prepared to strip to my boxers on stage and be in chains as I enter the prison… so I guess all of PDX will get to see me as I appear at the doctor’s office..

So with my inner-exhibitionist anticipation, we started rehearsals.

I have so much to say about this experience, I am going to try to break it up into concepts, and write what I can about each. It so far has been an extraordinary experience, and I can’t wait to share. I will take pictures as I can, but I suspect it will be difficult as we are busy back stage, and there is a lot of structure to what we can and can’t do. I will keep you posted.

4 Responses to So you heard I'm in the Opera right?

  1. Wayne November 7, 2008 at 8:22 am #

    AWESOME! Congrats on the part! According to their website…. tonight is opening night!! BREAK A LEG pal! … for pics….don’t you have an iPhone? 🙂 Thanks for sharing the experience Tom!

  2. @JeanAnnVK November 13, 2008 at 4:00 pm #

    You are so funny…I wonder if you might have found your next career…is there a “Marching About” certificate or course of study? I think you would be extraordinarily good at it! 🙂

  3. kurt November 17, 2008 at 5:07 pm #

    hey tom, can’t wait to see some pics. i can share them with all the truck drivers!!!! you will be known as “king of the road” or maybe we should make that your “handle”. break a leg or limb or whatever they say. talk to ya soon 🙂

  4. @wajiii November 20, 2008 at 5:12 pm #

    Just ran across this post (via your Twitter stream); nice! @Gaarbacca and I were there opening night, loved the show. Congrats on your super performance (pun intended)! 😉

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