Carrying fragile instruments in and out of the orchestra pit is always challenging but librarian (and part time traffic cop) Wendy Skozcen’s sign at the pit door was a first!
There are more players in the pit for Elektra than for any other opera, 97 in all. This tops the massive orchestra for Wagner's Ring Cycle and includes extra players in every section. Here’s the full list: piccolo, 3 flutes (3rd flute doubling 2nd piccolo), 3 oboes (3rd oboe doubling English horn), heckelphone, clarinet in E-flat, 4 clarinets in B-flat and A, 2 basset horns, bass clarinet, 3 bassoons, contrabassoon, 8 horns (horns 5–8 doubling 2 B-flat tenor and 2 F bass Wagner tubas), 6 trumpets, bass trumpet, 2 tenor trombones, bass trombone, contrabass trombone, tuba,timpani (2 players), snare drum, bass drum with rute (a bundle of thin birch dowels attached to a mallet/drum stick), cymbals, tam-tam, triangle, tambourine, castanets, glockenspiel, celesta, and 2 harps.
Add to that an expanded string section and you have a very full house. Good thing we know how to share!
Thanks to Jack Stubbs, house cartoonist and Laura Deming's husband, for this spot-on depiction of sharing in the Elektra pit.