Get the Prompter Lowdown

Our post about the Prompter raised some questions; so we thought we’d spend some time with our prompter to answer them.

LA Opera Young Artist Kihun Yoon

LA Opera Young Artist Kihun Yoon

What does a promoter do?

Prompters are often referred to as a security blanket. We support both the artists and the conductor, reinforcing cues and helping keep time. While artists know their parts, the fear of forgetting a line is alleviated when you know someone’s there just in case.

Doesn’t it get hot in the box?

It is not really hot – at least I have never felt uncomfortable.

Do you ever get hit by stage debris?

Confetti will float in of course. It is not uncommon for some props to roll into the box, but nothing dangerous has happened so far. Thank goodness!

Do you ever have a part in the performances?

Sometimes I do. I’ll hand in a prop or pull them off stage. But I don’t have a singing role.


"Macbeth" score

Macbeth score

What do you see when you’re in there?

Most of the stage. I’m in the direct sight line of the principal singers. I think I have the best seat in the house. Although, I actually stand during the entire performance.

Is the Prompter’s Box always in the same place?

Yes. It has to be, because I get into it from the orchestra pit and it has to be center stage. But, a new box is built for each production. It’s often used in the staging – In Macbeth, for example, the witches use it as a perch. It is also often decorated to match the rest of the scenery.

How do I get this job?

A prompter in the opera is usually a coach, pianist, and/or assistant conductor, who oversees all aspects of live performance – music and text included. Most likely, you can get the job by already working in an opera house as a coach, pianist, and/or assistant conductor.

By now you must be wondering who LA Opera’s Prompter is.

Nino Sanikidze during a rehearsal for "Macbeth"

Nino Sanikidze during a rehearsal for Macbeth

Meet Nino Sanikidze, who is also the Head Coach of LA Opera’s Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program. Read more about Nino here.

 To learn more about LA Opera and to purchase tickets to Macbeth, click here.

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