Friday, February 5, 2010

Covering Siegfried

While the majority of the Young Artists are in Yakima this week for their second Opera Goes to School residency, the three singers who are not in the production—Eric Neuville, Vira Slywotzky, and Bray Wilkins—stuck around Seattle and attended coaching sessions for their spring production of Ariadne auf Naxos and the program’s first-ever German art song recital.

During the rehearsal process for Siegfried, Eric, Vira, and Bray, were involved in rehearsals because they are all covering roles in the opera. This means that if one of the singers is unable to sing his or her role, the cover steps in. Eric Neuville, for example, is the vocal cover for Michael Krzankowski, who sings Siegfried. “If Mike goes down, or loses his voice, I would sing the role from offstage while he acts the part,” Eric said.

But that doesn’t mean that if Eric was required to step in he could just read his notes off of the score. “I have to know how the character says things, his intentions, and what Mike has to accomplish onstage before saying the next line.” Essentially he has to be able to act the part offstage so Siegfried won’t lose any of the characterization Michael has created.

Luckily, the Siegfried performances have gone well so far. They performed today with students at Cottonwood Elementary in Yakima, so check back next week for some photos of the performance!

Photo credit: Eric Neuville in rehearsal. © Bill Mohn


  1. Actually, Bray was with us because Alex Mansoori has been singing for some Falstaff rehearsals this week. We had a great show in Yakima at Cottonwood Elementary, and Bray did an outstanding job standing in for Alex.

  2. The concert at Cottonwood Elementary was wonderful. We appreciated the work that all of the people from Seattle Opera did during the whole week. All of the students were engaged throughout the performance--the students who participated and the students who watched the performance. I thought it was great that EVERY fifth grade student in the school participated in the performance. After the performance, Vanessa asked if there were any questions from the audience. The students, young and old, were lined-up with their questions and eventually she had to cut-off the questions because of the time limit. I think that was the best indicator of how engaged the students were with the performance. And their questions were very thoughtful and insightful. What a great learning experience for our children. Thank you to everyone at Seattle Opera and thank you to Jonathan for a wonderful, accessible adaption.
    -Dr. Peter Dallas Finch, Asst. Supt.

    Thank you for having the opera at the school today. I really liked it.
    -Faith Elizabeth Finch, Grade 1

  3. Nice article in the Yakima Herald-Republic about the concert at Cottonwood Elementary. Seven pictures are included.

    Here is the link:

    Dr. Peter Dallas Finch

  4. Thanks for the clarification, Marcy! And my apologies to Bray for not getting that correct in the first place. Clearly having covers is useful :)

    And Dr. Finch, it's great to hear that everyone at Cottonwood enjoyed the show!

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