Madrid replaces opera pros with ‘volunteers’

Madrid replaces opera pros with ‘volunteers’


norman lebrecht

October 23, 2018

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.


  • Steve says:

    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.

  • Vladislav says:

    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.

  • Anon says:

    Crikey!! Bringing in enthusiastic amateurs who have no stage experience is asking for trouble.

  • Elizabeth Owen says:

    I’m surprised Spanish Equity would allow this.
    I do like the final paragraph, ha, ha

  • BillG says:

    Dallas Opera has been doing it for a while. No signers for crowd scenes. Seems to work w/o any problems.

  • rita says:

    More contributions lost to the Social Security system.