Madrid replaces opera pros with ‘volunteers’

Madrid’s Teatro Real has replaced professional extras in its forthcoming Idomeneo with a call for volunteers, who nwill be making their stage debut.

The move has divided opinion. Many operagoers are privately thrilled to have the chance of a stage appearance. Professional actors fear this is the prelude to a further attack on seriousness in the arts.

They have posted a petition, calling for the Real’s artistic director and chief exec to be replaced by volunteers.

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  • Graham Vick, of course, has been doing something similar at Birmingham Opera Company for many years. It’s proved to be a very successful model for community participation in the arts. I once met someone who had never engaged with classical music prior to taking part in one of Graham’s productions but who had become an extremely passionate and knowledgeable fan as a consequence.

  • This has been happening in Australia for years. It’s despicable.

    But then again who can be surprised, Australia sucks at most things right now.

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