Friday, August 12, 2005

The Force of Destiny

At the San Francisco Opera, for the last fifteen years, I have been a supernumerary, an extra number, which means a non-singing extra. I've played a spear carrier, a soldier, a sailor, a peasant, a zebra, and members of the clergy high and low.

There was a cattle call audition last Friday for parts in the upcoming fall season, which was amusingly described by Paul Szcesiul on the Supernumerary website, "Spearhead News" (click here for a link).

To my utter surprise and delight I was chosen to work in two operas this season, Verdi's "La Forza del Destino" as a Friar and Bellini's "Norma" as either a Celtic warrior or a Roman soldier.

My fellow friar is being played by Albert Malkin (aka Grove Wiley) who was the first person I knew who had a blog, "Albert's World of Artsy Fun." And it IS artsy fun. He's the first person I've seen to take those annoying emoticons and do something amusing with them, sprinkling them around like glitter among his animated gifs. He is also proudly, defiantly neurotic, which can be entertaining. Click here to check it out.

As it turned out, Albert and I were given the task of bringing on a caldron filled with confetti which was supposed to be soup, leaving the stage, and then returning at the end of the scene to take it off. It was definitely not a Star Supernumerary moment, and I could tell it made Albert very depressed.

Oh well, the chorus was sounding its usual magnificent self in between their mumbled grumblings, and Ian Robertson, the chorus director (pictured on the right) seemed in a very good mood. I've got a good feeling about this production.

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