super scene

One of my favorite moments in the season premiere of Mad Men last night was this little exchange between the now-divorced Don Draper and his dinner date, a young woman named Bethany, at Jimmy’s La Grange:

DON: So, what do you do?

BETHANY: I’m an actress, but right now I’m a super in the opera.

DON: And what is that?

BETHANY: A supernumerary. We’re the actors that fill the stage.

DON: Like the chorus.

BETHANY: No singing. I do a lot of mock drinking. I’m a wench, I’m a courtesan, part of a harem. It depends on the opera.

DON: That is truly fascinating.

BETHANY: I love the music, and I love backstage. Our costumes are as good as the singers, and I love the stories. They’re very romantic. Have you been?

DON: I have, but only for business, so I’ve never enjoyed it.

I don’t imagine we’ll be seeing Don settle into a seat at the Old Met any time soon, but I’m glad series creator Matthew Weiner, who wrote the episode, gave a shout out to supers, who are–let’s face it–the opera world’s true unsung heroes.


1 Comment

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One response to “super scene

  1. That was a cool scene, although I thought the way Draper said “That is truly fascinating” sounded condescending and insincere. He’s a cultural primate. But what I meant to say was, glad you’re back, Bob!

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