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Singing spirit found in B'ville boy

At 11-years-old, Spencer Neuman has talent.

The sixth-grade Baldwinsville Christian Academy student was selected to perform in The Magic Flute, a Syracuse Opera production featuring mostly adults.

"I am very, very honored to have been chosen. It was certainly unexpected," Spencer said. "I am shocked I was picked over the 13 other (youth) that auditioned."

Spencer snagged a role as one of three spirits (spirit number two) in the prestigious production (along with two other teen girls), and it has been a whirlwind experience ever since. He received music for his part in mid-September, began rehearsals Sept. 30 with opening night scheduled for Friday Oct. 24.

"I needed to have the music learned by the first rehearsal," Spencer said. "It is very challenging but, I really am enjoying myself."

Since the fall of 2004, Spencer has been taking lessons with Irene Stanton, a voice teacher in Baldwinsville, who was also a member of the Syracuse Opera for 35 years.

"It is very unusual for a 11-year-old to get a role (in the Syracuse Opera)," Stanton said.

It was during an Aug. 17 recital conducted by Stanton that Spencer was discovered.

"I did not know that anyone from the Syracuse Opera was there until a few days after the recital when I received a phone call from Douglass Kinney-Frost asking me to audition for a part in The Magic Flute," Spencer said.

Spencer's weekly lessons with Stanton include warm-up exercises and practicing many different songs.

"I like singing because you learn a variety of different styles of music," he said. "I like acting because you can do things on stage that you cannot do in everyday life."

Despite his talent, Spencer's aspirations are not to pursue a career in entertainment.

"I would like to be an architect, but I do plan to keep singing and acting because I enjoy it a lot," Spencer said.

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