Opera is massive.

I’ve been fascinated by the behind-the-scenes work required to make it happen for years. A few years ago I spent an evening backstage, watching stage manager Mary Yankee Peters wrangle dozens of details for San Diego Opera’s “Madama Butterfly.” Last year we dove into the preproduction chaos of costumes, lights, sets and the hundreds of people involved in mounting “Faust” for our award-winning series, “Countdown to Curtain.”

This weekend is the first time “Moby-Dick” will be seen on the West Coast. It’s a new opera written by a living composer, Jake Heggie, and San Diego Opera went in with four other opera companies around the world to commission the production. This week the company is showing little peeks of the backstage effort to make this opera possible. We thought we’d also post them here as Opening Night nears. Here’s the first clip, about the harnesses and wires required to hoist soprano Talise Trevigne up to look like she’s flying. Oh, and she has to sing all the while:

A few months ago we visited the room where acrobats and climbers were trying out to be in the whaling ship for the production. We’ll be following up with a couple of them later this week for this week’s Behind the Scene TV — stay tuned.

I’m Kelly Bennett, the arts editor for VOSD. You can reach me directly at kelly.bennett@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0531.

And follow Behind the Scene on Facebook.

Kelly Bennett

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

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