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Jess Crawford


PDX OPERAbeat | A Company Blog is the blog for all things Portland Opera, featuring a variety of guest contributors who will provide insider's tidbits on all we do to celebrate the beauty and breadth of opera. Jess Crawford is our primary blogger. Jess spends much of her time eating enormous amounts of cake, making long lists of books she'll probably never read, and challenging people to arm-wrestling contests. During the day (and sometimes at night) she is Portland Opera's music librarian. She writes more about her escapades at her personal blog:
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Adult Super-vision: On the set with supernumerary Diana Harris

The Major Orchestra Librarians' Association (MOLA) conference, which took place in Portland this weekend, is officially wrapped. It was a TREMENDOUS success -- the Oregon Symphony librarians totally nailed it. But I am exhausted! That's why this post is a day later than usual.


I have a lot to tell you about the conference, which I'll do in next week's post. In the meantime, this week I bring you a report from the Falstaff frontlines from board member Diana Harris, who is a supernumerary in our production.



I've loved opera for as long as I can remember. Why? With story, singers, orchestra, costumes, and sets, opera is the ultimate combination of music, theater, often dance, and the visual arts. Sometimes an opera needs a supernumerary or two. "Supernumerary" means "one who appears onstage without speaking lines or as part of a crowd" (Random House Dictionary of the English Language). They're referred to as "supers."


As an opera lover who is neither singer nor musician, I wanted to be a "super" for decades; it was the only way I could be in the middle of the music. The current production of Falstaff, in which I am one of two adult "supers" in the final scene, is the fifth time I've been privileged to do so.