So the most interesting thing that's happened in my life lately is my child's participation in the San Francisco Opera's production of Macbeth. She is a supernumerary, which is a nonsinging, nonspeaking role—sort of like an extra in the movies, but there's usually not as many of them. This version of Verdi's MacBeth is from the Zurich Opera, and for reasons no one understands, someone there thought casting 25 children in an opera was a good idea. Really, it's near insanity. Every time a call comes over the opera house basement speakers for the 25 Birhnam Woods child supers to line up, everyone looks at each other with horror and thinks "25! Children! Why???" At any rate, it's been a great opportunity for us since there aren't usually many super roles for children and ones that exist are often filled by children of opera staff. Our connection was through a coworker of mine who supports her significant opera habit by working as a super. You get free dress rehearsal tickets and a great view of how something like an opera production comes together.
I hope to get some pictures up soon (if I'm sneaky with my camera, maybe I can take you on a tour of the War Memorial Opera House basement--a really crazy place!), but in the meantime, the picture here shows Macbeth is having a bad dream, and these kids (offspring of kings he thought he had eliminated) just keep coming. Once they got the mechanics of the headpieces worked out (they're heavy on top and have plastic masks in front, which the kids really can't see through very well), we all agreed they looked absolutely lovely if not sort of disembodied.