Meet Jim Lucas, supernumerary-extraordinaire! Supernumeraries, a.k.a. supers, are the extras of the opera world and play a variety of non-singing roles. Jim has been a “super” with the COC in approximately 60 productions, beginning with Der Rosenkavalier in 1990, in which he recalls having to navigate a tricky spiral staircase dressed as a lackey while holding a sword. He remembers his hands trembling with nerves when he shared a scene with the Marschallin, sung by soprano Carol Vaness, but that initial experience got him hooked. Jim had been a COC subscriber prior to trying his luck as a super, but it was a conversation at a house party with a COC staff member that inspired him to audition for Rosenkavalier. He is a visual artist, and already had an interest in both theatre and opera, so he thought to himself, “Why not?”
That first opera led to dozens of appearances in productions spanning 23 years. He considers the highlight of his time with the COC (so far!) an experience in Don Pasquale when the director didn’t like what an onstage actor was doing in his role, and so decided to replace him at the last minute with Jim, who then spent the entire day in rehearsal with the director, and was on stage that evening at the dress rehearsal. Another particularly memorable moment of Jim’s super career occurred in Idomeneo, when Jim had to "play dead" on stage – something he considered a personal challenge because of how exposed he would be, lying absolutely still for several minutes onstage. The experience proved to be tremendously moving for Jim. He had just lost his grandmother, and when the music of Idomeneo began, he was so incredibly moved, but continued to lie still as the tears came and the music washed over him.
During the COC’s 2013 spring run, Jim appears in both Salome and Dialogues des Carmélites, so his spring is absolutely jam-packed with opera excitement!
Whether he is on stage or in the audience, opera is clearly part of Jim’s life blood. Though an avid opera fan before all of this super fun began, Jim’s love for opera has grown with his experiences. “Being part of the COC family, you discover a great understanding about the art form, especially if you’re working with a great director,” he says. “It’s not like you just show up and stand there; you develop your own story and your own character. Opera seems bare and minimal at the beginning, but then you get on stage, in costume, and it all comes together in live performance. Sure, it’s a hobby. But a very rewarding hobby.”
Congratulations, Jim, on your 23 years with us! The COC is proud to have you as part of the family.
Photo: (top) (l – r) Alan Held as Gianni Schicchi and Jim Lucas as the corpse of Buoso Donati in the COC’s production of Gianni Schicchi, 2012. Photo: Michael Cooper; (middle) Jim Lucas. Photo by Douglas J. S. Hamilton; (bottom) Jim Lucas in the COC's production Madama Butterfly, 2009. Photo by Douglas J. S. Hamilton
Posted by Claire Morley / in Behind the Scenes / comments (2) / permalink
Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001