(From the House of the Dead by Leos Janáček – The COC’s production was presented in 2008. There were 63 supernumeraries in this production, of which 56 were men. The male supers had to be bald or willing to shave their heads.)
Have you ever wanted to be a part of the Canadian Opera Company and have the chance to hear a powerful singer from only a few feet away? You just might get that chance! On Saturday, February 16, the COC is looking for over 100 people to join us as supernumeraries in the spring for Lucia di Lammermoor, Salome and Dialogues des Carmélites.
What's a supernumerary?
Supernumeraries, a.k.a. supers, are the extras of the opera world and play a variety of non-singing roles. They are vital to enhancing the operatic experience presented on stage. Members of Canadian Actor’s Equity, ACTRA or any other professional performing arts union are not eligible to be supers.
What do you have to do?
No singing or acting experience is required to be a super, but those selected must have flexible schedules in order to meet the rehearsal and performance demands of the production they are asked to join. In order to fill the super roles, the COC is looking for 72 men and 45 women between the ages of 18 and 65, and ranging in height from five-foot-three to six-feet tall.
(Oedipus Rex with Symphony of Psalms by Igor Stravinsky – The COC’s production was first mounted in Toronto in 1997 and was then revived in 2002, both in Toronto and at the prestigious Edinburgh International Festival. This production called for 78 supernumeraries.)
What are the requirements for each opera?
Over 150 performers, including 41 female and 60 male supers, make up one of the largest casts in the COC’s history when internationally acclaimed Canadian Robert Carsen directs Francis Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites. The 101 supers play a vital role in telling the story of an order of Carmelite nuns caught up in the terror of the French Revolution. The production runs from May 8 – 25, 2013 for eight performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.
For Lucia di Lammermoor, we require seven male supers. Staged by renowned director David Alden, this bel canto masterpiece transports audiences to 19th-century Scotland where Lucia is treated as chattel in a brutal, power-driven society. The supers help create crowd scenes as townspeople and serve as guests at Lucia’s arranged wedding, which leads to the opera’s devastating conclusion. The production runs for nine performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts from April 17 – May 24, 2013.
Five male and four female supers contribute to celebrated director Atom Egoyan’s searing vision of Salome. As guards, attendants, bathers and the executioner, they help bring Richard Strauss’s opera to life. This operatic tale recounts how King Herod’s step-daughter, Salome, demanded the head of John the Baptist in exchange for performing the seductive Dance of the Seven Veils. Running from April 21 – May 22, 2013, this production has eight performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.
How to Apply
Attend our open call, taking place on Saturday, February 16 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre (227 Front St. E., Toronto), to see if you can make your stage dreams a reality by becoming a super. For any questions, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos: David Pomeroy as Skuratov (centre) and Andrew Stewart as Čerevin (bottom) in the COC’s production of From the House of the Dead, 2008. (top); Michael Schade as Oedipus in the Canadian Opera Company's production of Oedipus Rex with Symphony of Psalms, 2002 (bottom). Photos by Michael Cooper.
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Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001