I recently got to perform in an opera "Amahl and the Night Visitors" (more detailed info on the opera here). It is a Christmas opera and I played one of the three kings: Balthazar.
The best part of the whole thing for me came after our final performance. An older woman (probably in her late 70s or early 80s) came up to me and thanked me for the performance. She said that her husband used to perform my role years ago and loved performing the opera every Christmas. She said my performance reminded her of her husband who had died 3 years ago and She thanked me for bringing back the memories of her late husband.
I have never been so touched or honored by any performance I have ever been a part of. It made all the work and effort (and makeup) worthwhile.
As for the makeup comment......
As we are about to come on stage Amahl says (sings) this line:
"There are three kings outside....and one of them is black!"
I'll let you guess which king I was. And just as proof of how lousy a "black king" I make, here are some pictures.