Those who doubted opera is for high-brows got a sharp reminder at a casting call for a production of Verdi's "Aida" in Vancouver, British Columbia.

About 2,000 people hoping to play soldiers, slaves and other extra roles in the extravaganza planned for next month began lining up in the rain at 6 a.m. Saturday for auditions. Ads seeking extras had said the minimum height for women was 5-feet-2 and 5-feet-8 for men.But when the stadium doors opened four hours later, the women were told anyone under 5-feet-6 was out of luck.

"We started a mass rebellion," said student June Derlachter, who is 5-feet-41/2.

After haggling, those 5-feet-4 and above were told they could stay.