Friday, January 9, 2009

The Best Seat In the House Might Be Backstage

English National Opera will be broadcasting an opera from backstage with its upcoming La bohème so viewers can see "all of that furious paddling under the water that you don't normally see," said John Berry, ENO's artistic director.

As someone who has seen plenty of opera from the wings, it truly is a sight to behold. Of course it does not replace seeing an opera from the audience, but it truly is orchestrated chaos and I think the average opera goer would be surprised to learn how many people are backstage making the show happen.

(The answer: ALOT, just take a look at everyone involved with Samson and Delilah in the picture).

Here at San Diego Opera we've gotten to showing a scene change during intermission for one opera each season. It is widely popular with a large portion of the audience staying to watch the scene change and applauding when it is complete. Then there is OperaSpotlight, our program that offers glimpses into the backstage activity of each production. You can tune into OperaSpotlight when it premieres later this month on January 23rd on UCSD-TV.

-- Edward


AriaGirl said...

Loving this! We're always looking to get patrons involved backstage - maybe interactive experiences are the way to draw in that younger crowd that's looking for an art form and experience they can get involved in beyond just attending performances.

Smorg said...

I like getting to see scene changing stuff at the opera, too (though can sympathize with some folks who complain about backstage stuff being shown while music is playing in some HD broadcast to theaters). It really helps me better appreciate the efforts that make the opera experience possible.

I have trouble keeping 4 lab techs in sync in a small medical lab... You guys keep bus loads of them in sync so effortlessly it's amazing!