Guessing game: How many people does it take to put on an opera?

Want to play a guessing game about something you know ABSOLUTELY nothing about?

This week there is a great opera in San Diego - Verdi’s, “Masked Ball."

How many people TOTAL do you think are involved in each performance? 

Take a guess and then scroll down through the numbers to get to the final tally:

How many Wigmakers?

  • 15 (includes Make Up Crew)

How many Mess with Lights?

  • 9 (includes Lighting designer, Board Operators etc)

How many Mess with Costumes?

  • 26 (Costume makers, Stitchers, Craftsmen, Launderers - unreal costumes, actually)

How many Stagehands?

  • 33 (includes Carpenters, Electricians, Prop Men Flymen, and Sound Technicians)

How many Musicians?

  • 98 (includes San Diego Symphony members, “In the pit” and on-stage, conductor etc)

How many Big-Shot Opera-Stars?

  • 9 (includes Director, and Principal Artists who often fly in for key performances, get all the attention, and then fly out.)

How many in the Chorus?

  • 61 (61! No wonder it sounded so…  insert adjective here… HUGE)

How many VIPS who somehow weaseled their way ON-STAGE?”

  • 16 (Weird, I know, but all operas do this. They are called supernumeraries. They usually can’t act, sing or dance. They often can write checks. Someday I hope to be one. Maybe they'll let me hold a torch, or something?)


  • 288 (Directly - as in - for the next performance!)
  • 377 ( If you include the staff needed to run the San Diego Opera, and folks from other         locations who pitched in.)
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