Behind The Scenes
From books and movies to ancient myths and inspiring legends, composers and librettists find inspiration for new opera both in forgotten worlds and the world around us. Opera companies commission new works to ensure the art and tradition of opera continues to grow and thrive.
Once an opera has been chosen, an opera company builds a creative team of a director, stage manager, conductor, lighting designer, costume and set designer and sometimes choreographer. These people bring a massive range of talent and teamwork to the process of creating a show that really sings.
Build the Dream
To create the glamour of live opera, you also need a team of marketers, fundraisers and accountants to make the production a success.
Practice Makes Perfect
About a month before opening night, rehearsals kick into high gear. The Stage Director, conductor, singers and musicians rehearse six days a week leading up to the final dress rehearsals. This is their chance to perfect and polish every note, movement and gesture until it shines.
Opening night is when all of the hard work and planning comes together. It begins with the Call Time, a specific time that the performers and musicians arrive at the theater to get ready for the show. All performers and production staff enter through the stage door, as not to be seen by the public before the show. Once backstage, performers make their final transformation in the dressing rooms as they are adorned with wigs, makeup and costumes. Orchestra members head to the pit, a space that sits slightly below stage level, to provide the soundtrack to the opera (an essential part!). Near showtime, the Stage Manager takes their place to put the opera into motion by cueing all performers on their entrances and calming frazzled nerves. In the house, the audience takes their seats and prepares to enjoy the show. When the house lights go down, please remember to turn your cell phone off. These moments of quiet and darkness before the curtain rises helps set the mood to fully experience the drama that’s about to unfold. Enjoy the show!
Flexible, multifaceted perfectionists, opera singers train for years to polish not only their vocal and acting techniques but also their movement skills and fluency in foreign languages.