Arts & Culture
3:30 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Pittsburgh Opera Looking For 'Super' Men

To kick off its 75th season, the Pittsburgh Opera is looking for “super” men — minus the red cape … and the shirt.

The opera is holding open auditions to find approximately 60 male supernumeraries, or extras, for non-singing parts in Giuseppe Verdi’s “Aida.”

The extras will play priests and slaves marching after an Egyptian victory over invading Ethiopians as part of the opera’s famous Triumphal Scene.

While some “supers” will be dressed in robes, many will have to bare their chests as Egyptian soldiers.

Christopher Hahn, general director of the Pittsburgh Opera, said the auditions for extras aren’t very rigorous.

“They need to be able to look good, march effectively, look as though they’re in the peak of physical condition and keep time,” he said.

While the opera company is looking for strong “Egyptian soldiers” to fill the stage, Hahn said there are a number of roles available for those on the other side of the physical fitness spectrum.

“We are interested in a wide range,” he said. “Obviously the larger number of people required are guys who are meant to be of military age, but it’s such a fun thing there is really something for everyone.”

Auditions start at 1 p.m. Sept. 7 in the Egyptian Wing of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, and all extras will be paid $100.

Hahn said he chose “Aida” as the opening production of the 75th season because it is an opera of celebration.

“From small, humble, but well-meaning origins, a really exceptionally fine regional opera company was born,” he said.