In both of my Act I scenes in the opera, I am accompanied by a little boy. His name is Ryder Stanton, and he is eight years old. I will also have a total of 22 fairies attending me at all times, four of which act as my "honor guard" and have solo singing. Needless to say, I've been nervous about working with that many children. Kids can either be the most professional people in the cast, or the least, depending on their personalities and the leadership under which they are working. Well, we lucked out! I've worked with eight of the fairies (my four soloists and their understudies) and Ryder so far, and each one of them is prepared, disciplined and excited to be in the show. But not so excited that they get distracted; they take their work very seriously, talking about it on breaks and making suggestions to the choreographer. In fact, they came up with most of the movements for their big song and dance scene at the end of Act I! I am looking forward to working with all of them this weekend.
Ryder, my little pet, is a doll. He plays the little "changeling boy" - a child that has been stolen from the humans and secretly exchanged with a fairy - that Oberon and Tytania are fighting over. We have a great time riding in on the various platforms of the set, pretending that we're scared of falling off. (Ok, so I'm not pretending...) He comes from a family of children that have acted in Tanglewood operas for the past few years, and his family is so supportive. Ryder was only three when all four of his older siblings has small parts in Tanglewood's Falstaff, so this is his first time on the stage. But I'm sure it won't be his last.