Opera audiences are used to seeing performances awash in spectacle. But they rarely get to glimpse the magic that occurs between shows — namely, “the changeover,” when one production is taken down and another takes its place. “It’s like working a huge jigsaw puzzle,” says Rupert Hemmings, director of production at Los Angeles Opera. “It may seem haphazard, but everything’s done in order.”
On this Times video, you can watch the company make the switch between its current offerings — Mozart’s “Cosi fan Tutte” and Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin,” which continue through Oct. 9. Neither of the imported productions is “overly scenery-heavy,” says Hemmings, so “it’s a medium-sized change.” Even so, the process requires 4 1/2 hours and 45 carpenters, electricians and sound and prop people.