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May 22, 2013 at 8:54 PM

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Wagner's 200th birthday celebrated with opera singalong


In the shower or in the car -- with the windows rolled up -- weren't the only places amateur Seattle opera singers could perform Wednesday night.

More than 200 Seattle opera fans belted out classic Wagner pieces at the Seattle Center Armory. The Seattle Opera's Wagner singalong celebrated the composer's 200th birthday and the opera's upcoming August performances of the "Ring" cycle.

Led by Seattle Opera chorusmaster Beth Kirchhoff, children and adults at all levels of talent sang loud, surprisingly beautiful renditions of the Wedding March from "Lohengrin," Entrance of the Guests from "Tannhäuser" and, because it was Verdi's bicentennial as well, the "Libiamo" from "La Traviata."

Then, both opera singer wannabes and comedians sang their best version of the "Hojotoho" war cry sang by Viking hat-wearing Brünnhilde. Some almost came off as professionals, but not quite as professional as the last surprise contestant: Alwyn Mellor, who plays Brünnhilde for the Seattle Opera.

Of the Hojotoho contestants, Mellor said, "That's one of the hardest things to sing and for them to do it in front of all these people -- it's really brave."

This player was created in September 2012 to update the design of the embed player with chromeless buttons. It is used in all embedded video on The Seattle Times as well as outside sites.

ALEXA VAUGHN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Emili Rice, 13, of Seattle dressed up as Brünnhilde for the Wagner singalong Wednesday. She says she's been in love with opera since she was 4.

This player was created in September 2012 to update the design of the embed player with chromeless buttons. It is used in all embedded video on The Seattle Times as well as outside sites.

ALEXA VAUGHN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Christopher Chambers, 60, of Seattle's Georgetown won the "Shower Singer Award" for his rendition of Viking-hat wearing Brünnhilde's "Hojotoho" war cry.

This player was created in September 2012 to update the design of the embed player with chromeless buttons. It is used in all embedded video on The Seattle Times as well as outside sites.

ALEXA VAUGHN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

The more than 200 opera lovers led by Seattle Opera chorusmaster Beth Kirchhoff in the singalong came prepared.

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