Arts and Entertainment

Lakeland Hills Elementary, Seattle Opera to stage 'Siegfried and the Ring'

Nearly 60 fifth-grade students at Auburn’s Lakeland Hills Elementary School are learning to become actors, musicians, dancers and designers at this week's Seattle Opera Young Artists Program’s four-day artist-in-residency workshop.

Six opera singers, pianist, music director and stage manager are working with students and teachers to present "Siegfried and the Ring of Fire", an adaptation of Wagner’s "Siegfried" (with a few borrowed plot points from "Die Walküre").

Created by Education Artistic Administrator Jonathan Dean, the adaptation is an hour-long kid-friendly English opera, with roles for up to 60 students (onstage or in the orchestra). Members of Seattle Opera’s Young Artists Program sing the roles of Wagner’s gods, goddesses, and heroes.

The students are spending the week designing costumes and props, learning blocking and signing Wagner’s music in preparation for a 50-minute performance of the children's opera.

The residency, from Feb. 9-12, is being conducted at the school, 1020 Evergreen Way SE. Student performers are teaming with actors and singers from Seattle Opera’s Young Artists program to present a culminating performance to the school community at 1:45 p.m. Friday in the gymnasium.

The opera has requested no photographs during the school performance, but will be made available on request following the performance.

The program is a collaboration between the Seattle Opera, City of Auburn and Lakeland Hills Elementary. The program is designed to integrate arts in the existing elementary curriculum.

Seattle Opera handpicked Auburn for the residency to honor longtime Auburn arts advocate Gertrude Sprenger. “Gertie,” as she was familiarly called, was deeply committed to arts education and a devoted patron of opera. She was a founding member of the Auburn Arts commission. She also was one of only four life-time members of the Seattle Opera Board of Trustees and a driving force behind the creation of the Seattle Opera’s Education Department, of which the Young Artist Program is a large part.

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