Becoming a Sarasota Opera supernumerary

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SARASOTA – Ever dreamed of being in the opera but can’t sing a note?  Or of being onstage in costume without formal training?

We spoke to Alix Redmonde, a supernumerary in Sarasota Opera’s production of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut.

She has been a super in an opera before, so she jumped at the opportunity to be a part of this show.

“Because it’s an opportunity to live out of the box,” Redmonde said. “You get to be a fairy princess, or you might get to be a ship captain. In this case, I’m a prostitute.”

Supernumerary Bobbi Goldwater explains how she earned her first time onstage.

“I was called in after my late husband; he came in as a body builder for Aida; he answered a casting call for that,” Goldwater said. “Then Greg asked me if I’d be interested, and I said, ‘Sure.’”

Goldwater says she does it for change of pace and to meet new people.

“..to do something that is really out of my normal range,” Goldwater said. “Normally I’m either volunteering or doing sports; this is totally different.”

But still requires some of the coordination she uses in sports.

“..because you have to wear heels, you have to maneuver a stairway, and you also get outfitted in this gorgeous, elaborate costume that looks a little worn and torn, kinda like the characters were playing,” Redmonde said.

Shown through the dress, and the attitude.

“I come out there on stage, and I’m basically sizing everybody up because I feel like I don’t belong there,” Redmonde said.

In the story, maybe, but she does belong on the opera stage.

Sarasota Opera posts announcements for supernumeraries on social media.

The commitment: about ten rehearsals, eight to ten performances and a lifetime of memories.

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Hallie Peilet
Hallie Peilet is an Indiana University graduate with a degree in broadcast journalism, and a minor in music. She has had experience in several media outlets. Previously, she interned for WCIU-TV in Chicago, learning about production and live reporting. During her senior year at IU, she worked as a reporter and anchor for her campus news station, and as a multimedia journalist for WTIU/WFIU, the PBS/NPR affiliate in Bloomington. She grew up just outside of Chicago in Munster, Indiana, and in her free time she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, discovering new music, and watching Chicago sports. If you have an idea for a story, e-mail her at hallie.peilet@snntv.com.