Tuesday, May 08, 2001

Opera has no reason to fear no-shows

        Whoa, and didn't this one come as a surprise? Referring here to last week's Cincinnati Opera casting call for supernumeraries or non-singing extras. There was concern that no one would show, what with Music Hall's location and many suburbanites still iffy about visiting.

        Not to worry. According to coordinator Taren Frazier, 147 showed up, more than any year in recent memory. About 85 slots are available.

        And not just opera fans — a couple of dozen children in rehearsal gear, mostly Asian-American, came for Madame Butterfly.

        Priests and rabbis too, in their clerics, for Nabucco. Plus a bunch just looking for kicks.

        So many showed that opera management had to set up risers, four levels, and still ran out of chairs.

        No one was cast that night. Forms got filled out while opera staffers took Polaroids of hopefuls. Artistic director Nic Muni said photos would be sent to the directors for the final choice.

        Oh, he also explained the rules: 1 - Be on time and do as the director instructs; 2 - Have fun; 3 - Avoid Italian gravity.

        That, he said, is a super's “strange compulsion to gravitate to the front of the stage. Directors hate it. We'll give you special exercises if you contract it.”

        Appearing Act: Things have been downright magical out in Loveland where Ken Klosterman lives and maintains his Salon de Magie, a huge collection of magic memorabilia. That from magician Tom Frank, owner of the Carew Tower Magic Shop.

        First off, it was Siegfried and Roy, in town to meet four baby white lions, offspring of Prosperity and Sunshine, the two white lions they loaned to the zoo in 1998.

        They made a beeline to Klosterman's home. “We spent about 90 minutes talking about Ken's collection,” Frank says.

        And picked up a few tips?

        “I wanted to ask, but it seemed inappropriate,” he says.

        Two days later, David Copperfield wandered in. “After his Saturday show in Columbus, his tour bus headed here.

        “The bus came rumbling down Ken's driveway at 1 a.m., and we sat talking 'til 5.”

        Any tips?

        “I wanted to, but, uh, no.”

        Happy feet: So when, you were wondering, is a pair of sneakers worth a zillion dollars more than you paid for them?

        When artist Dale Chihuly paints them. He's part of A Touch of Glass, a show of modern and contemporary art glass that opened Sunday at the Cincinnati Art Museum.

        Seems CAM chief Curator Anita Ellis took some museum supporters out to Seattle last week to tour Chihuly's studio.

        The morning visit turned into an all day affair when Chihuly invited them to lunch. There, donor Sara Vance admired his paint splattered shoes.

        Chihuly, an accommodating kind of guy, offered to paint them all a pair.

        Soooo, all eight of them trooped out, bought sneakers and left them with Chihuly in his Puget Sound boathouse.

        Shoes arrived in town late last week but won't go public until the group wears them en masse to a June 14 gala.


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