As the 1,000-pound curtain rose Saturday night at the Civic Theatre, writer Roxana Popescu and photographer Sam Hodgson captured the last minutes of backstage frenzy before the show debuted. Here’s the final installment in our series.

I got to see the opera in dress rehearsal on Thursday, and found it fun to have these little strings of information to hang onto as I watched, like knowing the chorus was singing from the rafters to make it sound like they were in heaven.

Miss one of our posts along the way? Here’s a recap of the glimpses we caught:

• Opera is a monumental cottage industry.

• San Diego Opera started thinking all the way back in 2006 about doing “Faust” this season.

• Nine hours after the last performance of the previous opera, the sets crew tears down 18th-century opulence to begin setting up the somber scenery for “Faust.”

• With little time to spare, the costume director for an opera puts puzzles together and finds ways to make quick changes possible.

• What happens when someone calls in sick with pneumonia the week the opera is supposed to open?

• Where he points, light appears. A peek at the work of illuminating the stage for a dramatic opera like “Faust.”

• San Diego Opera head carpenter John David Peters has two rules: “Rule Number 1: Nobody gets hurt. Rule Number 2: See Rule Number 1.”

• At one point in “Faust,” the chorus sings from a tiny room four floors above the stage.

• Do you know where the bowl of M&Ms is? The theater’s basement buzzes Thursday as the time for the final dress rehearsal nears.

It’s opening night.

Were you there Saturday? What’d you think? Leave us a comment here or on Facebook.

And if there’s something in local arts you wish you could see from backstage, drop us a line to suggest a future series like this.

I’m the arts editor for VOSD. You can reach me directly at or 619.325.0531 and follow me on Twitter: @kellyrbennett and at

Kelly Bennett is a former staff writer for Voice of San Diego.

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