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During an opera performance, the orchestra is placed in the orchestra pit, located below the stage on which the singers perform. There is room for up to 72 musicians.

The Chorus at L’Opéra de Québec is made up of between 20 and 60 professional singers, depending on the production.

The control room is where all scenery and lighting changes are cued, and where instructions are given for movements on or off stage. The stage manager gives the signal for the start of the performance, the raising of the curtain, and changes of scenery and lighting. The assistant stage managers, hidden in the wings on each side of the stage, tell the performers when to go on stage and give any other cues that are needed. Everything is carefully timed based on cues in the orchestral score.

Many months in advance, the artistic director and general administrator fix the programme for the upcoming season and hire the stage director, soloists and chorus for each production, besides organizing the rental or creation of the scenery and costumes needed.

For example, L’Opéra de Québec employs up to 250 people for each production, including singers, musicians, chorus members, rehearsal pianists, stage managers, costume designers and makers, props designers, make-up staff, hairdressers, dancers, extras, operators, lighting staff, sound equipment operators, projectionists, dressers and administrative staff.

Rehearsals begin three weeks before the first performance. Each group (chorus, soloists, orchestra) rehearses separately in a rehearsal room, and then the various performers are gradually brought together on stage to establish links between the groups. After the pre-dress rehearsal and the dress rehearsal comes the excitement of Opening Night!

The soloists arrive up to 4 hours before the performance to receive their makeup and costumes; the chorus members must report to the Grand Théâtre about one hour before performance time to receive their makeup and costumes and perform warm-up exercises.

The musicians must arrive 30 minutes before curtain time.

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