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