Extras, or “spear carriers,” may not get much respect in life, but in opera houses, they are the life of the party. You can’t put up most grand operas without them, and supernumeraries, or supers, have a whole lot of fun — rubbing shoulders with great singers, dressing up like there is no tomorrow, being part of the show. As the San Francisco Opera is getting ready for its 2008-09 season, the call is going out for male volunteer supers of all ages, although those under 18 need a work permit.
Auditions will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. To be scheduled, call the opera at (415) 565-3200 and leave your name and phone number in order to be placed on a list.
Also for the fall opera, auditions will be held in the War Memorial Opera House between Oct. 22 and Nov. 15 for the boy treble role of Feodor (or Fyodor) in Mussorgsky’s “Boris Godunov.” No super, Feodor is the Tsar’s son (although sometimes acted by a — young and small — mezzo), and sings a song about his favorite parrot. Unlike supers, this is a paid American Guild of Musical Artists job. To set up an audition, e-mail Paul Hansen at firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of the audition music and the schedule.