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Encyclopedia > Prompter

The prompter in an opera house gives the singers the opening words of each phrase a few seconds early. Prompts are mouthed silently or hurled lyrically in a half-voice, audible (hopefully) only on stage. (This is in contrast to the prompter in a spoken-drama theater who aids actors who have forgotten their words or lines.) The Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy. ... For other usages see Theatre (disambiguation) Theater (American English) or Theatre (British English and widespread usage among theatre professionals in the US) is that branch of the performing arts concerned with acting out stories in front of an audience using combinations of speech, gesture, music, dance, sound and spectacle &#8212...


Opera prompters are traditionally housed in a stuffy wooden box at the center-front edge of the stage, above the orchestra pit. They are visible to the performers and no one else. Technology has brought cool air and small display screens, among other advances, to support their work. An orchestra pit is the usually lowered area (hence pit) in front of a stage where an orchestra accompanies the performers. ...


Effective prompting can be a challenge. The American prompter Philip Eisenberg recounts the story at a Maria Callas performance when she needed louder prompts. The famed diva swooped down in a curtsy right in front of the prompter’s box and — mid-curtsy, unnoticed by the audience — gave the Italian command “più forte!” (louder) to her boxed colleague. Maria Callas (Greek: Μαρία Κάλλας) (December 2, 1923 – September 16, 1977) was an American-born Greek dramatic coloratura soprano and perhaps the best-known opera singer of the post-World War II period. ...


Prompters attend all rehearsals, mark up any adjustments or clarifications to the score, and generally “prepare” singers for a role. Their profile is low, and opera program books often credit them only under “musical preparation” or some similar moniker.


See Also


  Results from FactBites:
 
List of theatre terms - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2833 words)
Prompt: To tell an actor his next line when he as forgotten it.
Also the person whose job it is to do this (also called the prompter).
It used to mean the side of the stage where the prompter sat.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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