Sängerkrieg der Heidehasen
Imagine Wagner's Meistersänger von Nürnberg sung by children acting as little rabbits and you may be able to imagine what I heard in Obertürkheim last weekend. But this was special because even the audience got to get into the act by singing the third verse of a German folksong after the entrance march.
Every Friday since Christmas the children's choir has been rehearsing the musical by James Krüss under the guidance of Ruth Kurz. Sometimes the afternoons grow long and it takes a great deal of concentration to keep up with the intricate musical and theatrical details.
The victorious Meistersänger, as it turns out, is the handsome young Benno Herz, who also had a speaking role in last year's musical, Löwenherz.
With singers ranging in age from 6-12, pulling everything together must have been a real challenge for the music director as well as for the theatrical directors, Sabine Strizelberger and Uschi Osdoba, who spent an intensive, long weekend in April rehearsing with the children in a village in the country. For many of them, this was their first time away from their parents so they learned about being on their own, too.
The winner of the singing competition gets to marry the princess - as in all good fairy tales, right?
But during the singing competition, two wonderful songs were sung by the twins, Katharina (above) and Minja (below) Bosien. Katharina did a great job sounding like a warbling old Eurovision retiree.
And Minja's rendition of her song certainly would have won "douze points" from Finland, which has a taste for this style of music.
One of the greatest rewards for attending - and photographing - children's stage performances is capturing some of the real moments that the kids offer us.
And of course they seem especially cute if the child is your own!
It was again a pleasure to watch Emma Herz perform. She has such a wide range of facial gestures and incredible stage presence. I predict a great future on stage for her. She is Benno's big sister.
After two performances - with the main roles being played by different people each time - the curtain fell on this production. What lies in the wings for this troupe is anyone's guess, but it will definitely be worth attending!