From the website of the San Francisco Opera:

You might know actress Harriet Harris from her recurring roles on hit TV shows like Frasier, DesperateHousewives, Ally McBeal, Nurse Betty, and more. Or from her many feature films, or her Tony Award-winning turn on Broadway in Thoroughly Modern Millie. But one place that Harris has yet to make her debut is on the San Francisco Opera stage, which she will do in this summer's grand production of Show Boat. In today's blog post, we ask Harris six questions about her experience here at San Francisco Opera.

It’s not very often that we have the privilege of having a Tony Award winner (Thoroughly Modern Millie, 2002) join our cast! What has it been like to be part of an opera production as compared to a Broadway production?
Harriet-Harris-HeadshotIt's similar to being away from home on a business trip. You awaken in a not too familiar hotel, but you remember that it's a good hotel. For instance, there is a light switch within reach. It's just a matter of how high to reach and does one try the right or left side first. The first rehearsal was probably the best example of this. The opera singers arrived knowing their parts music and book. The actors did not. Actors almost always learn their lines in rehearsal. Whoever is playing Hamlet will probably get a jump on rehearsing, but not Claudius or Gertrude. It became clear that rehearsal means something else in the opera world. A good deal of time is spent introducing more and more elements into the same scene. The singing has been beautiful from the first day and now that we have an orchestra, it is thrilling. The sitzprobe, which is always the best day in a musical, was a revelation. Thirty two strings! That doesn't happen on Broadway. At certain moments from this symphony of lusciousness a banjo emerges as lone and wonky clarion — it's divine. Another aspect of the opera is realizing the depth of experience the company has with each other. It is in some cases years of interaction and love. In a play, it maybe two out of eight actors may have worked together before. Here it seems upwards of 40 out of 60 people have a history!
More here.