Be in an opera -- no singing required

Times Staff Writer

Want to see an opera free, up close?

Way up close?

The Opera Pacific company in Orange County uses volunteers as onstage, non-singing extras -- called supernumeraries or just plain “supers” in the opera world.

It’s your chance to see some big-league professionals at work (major star Deborah Voigt, who spent her teen years in Placentia, has the title role in the upcoming “Salome”) and get the experience of being onstage in a 3,000-seat hall.

You’ll also get to wear a costume that will possibly have your friends in giggles. There’s no Wagner in the upcoming season, so at least you won’t be wearing a big hat with horns.


In addition to “Salome,” the company will perform “The Barber of Seville,” the West Coast premiere of an opera based on “The Grapes of Wrath” and the American folk opera “Susannah.”

Supers must commit to about eight three-hour rehearsals on evenings and weekends, and the four performances. Supers get two free tickets to a performance -- so relatives or friends can come and watch you in your role as a person who stands in the back and laughs or looks grim on cue.

Also, you get $5 a rehearsal and $10 a performance, so from then on you can claim to be an opera professional.

Just don’t go diva.

For more information, see or call (714) 830-6339.