Monday, November 9, 2009

Young Artists' Tech Week


Last night, the singers in the “red” cast—Marcy Stonikas, Bray Wilkins, and Eric Neuville, along with Maya Lahyani, Erik Anstine, and Sarah Heltzel, who sing with both casts—had their final rehearsal. (The “blue” cast, which features Vira Slywotzky, Alex Mansoori, and Michael Krzankowski, rehearses tonight.)


Marcy Stonikas, who sings Fiordiligi in the “red” cast, said everything really gelled at last night’s rehearsal. “It felt like we all were singing as a group, like a unit,” the soprano said, adding that it was great to finally rehearse in front of an audience. Erik Anstine, who sings Don Alfonso in all performances, agreed: “With an audience we can see which jokes land, where to pause, and what adjustments we should make.”


Marcy, much like Bray and Alex, noted the benefits of having a role that’s double-cast. “Vira is an extraordinary actress, and it’s really refreshing and educational to watch her character choices.” But while the two are inspired by each other, Marcy noted that they still have to make their performances their own. “I am not Vira, and if I tried to be her, it would just bomb,” Marcy said, with a laugh. “But I can take what she does in certain places and figure out how to make it work for me.”

The singers definitely bring a bit of themselves and their own interpretations to their characters, but for the most part, all the staging is the same. Even when there are slight differences, Erik says he’s not thrown off when performing with the different casts, because everyone is making choices in character, so he can easily react in character. “It’s not ‘oh, Marcy turned right [where Vira turns left],’ instead it’s ‘Fiordiligi does this, so Don Alfonso does that,’” he said.

Tomorrow the Young Artists pack up and head out to Walla Walla for their sold-out performance on Wednesday night. Will we see you there? If you miss out, you still have four more chances to see these exciting young singers this fall!


The tour runs through November 22. The “red” cast performs on November 11 (Walla Walla), November 15 (Kirkland), and November 22 (Leavenworth). The “blue” cast performs November 13 (Bellingham) and November 20 (Seattle).

Photos: 1) Eric Neuville, Erik Anstine, Sarah Heltzel, Bray Wilkins; 2) Marcy Stonikas and Maya Lahyani; 3) Erik Anstine and Sarah Heltzel; 4) Erik Anstine, Marcy Stonikas, Maya Lahyani, Bray Wilkins, Eric Neuville. All photos © Bill Mohn.

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