Willemijn Verkaik (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈʋɪləmɛin vərˈkɑik]; born 16 June 1975) is a Dutch singer and actress. She is best known for her stage roles in Wicked and Elisabeth, and for providing the singing voice for Elsa in both the German and Dutch versions of Disney's Frozen. She was the longest running Elphaba in the musical Wicked, having played the role over 2,000 times, and is the only person to have played the role in three different languages. Her first performance as Elphaba was on 31 October 2007 in Stuttgart, Germany and her final performance in the role was on 22 July 2017 in the West End of London.
|Born||16 June 1975|
Son en Breugel, Netherlands
In 2004, Verkaik played the singing voice of Erica in the Dutch version of the animated movie Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper. In 2008, she recorded the Dutch voice of Lydia in Barbie & the Diamond Castle.
Since then, her various musical theatre credits have included Elisabeth (in Holland and Thun, Switzerland), The Three Musketeers, We Will Rock You and most notably Wicked, in which she was chosen as the "Wicked Personality of the Year" in 2010, out of all the actresses who had played the role, in an online poll with over 16,000 voters. She is the only actress to have played the role in more than one language: she has appeared in the Dutch, German, Broadway and London West End productions.
Verkaik originated the role of Elphaba in the original German-language production of Wicked, which began performances in Stuttgart on 1 November 2007, prior to a 15 November opening night. Sabrina Weckerlin was her original alternate, appearing in the two shows a week which Verkaik was not contracted to perform.
Verkaik soon repeated her performance in the original Dutch-language production, which premiered in Scheveningen on 6 November 2011, after previews from 26 October. This required her to learn the role in her native language. The run ended on 11 January 2013 and Verkaik then transferred to North America, making her Broadway debut in the English-speaking New York company of Wicked and marking her third language production. Verkaik played a limited 15-week engagement at the Gershwin Theatre from 12 February 2013 to 26 May 2013.
Verkaik subsequently played the role of Donna in the Stuttgart production of Mamma Mia! for a limited run starting 26 July 2013, before playing the role of Elphaba again. Beginning on 18 November 2013, she made her West End debut in Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, London. Due to health reasons, Verkaik had to depart early from the West End production of Wicked on 19 July 2014.
She can be heard on Wicked's German-language cast recording, as well as Scott Alan's album What I Wanna Be When I Grow Up and on the Scott Alan album LIVE, which was recorded at the Birdland jazz club in New York City on 30 April 2012. The CD was released on 26 June 2012.
Verkaik also provided the Dutch speaking and singing voice and the German singing voice of Elsa, the Snow Queen in Disney's 2013 animated movie Frozen (the German speaking voice was provided by Dina Kürten). She also performed the song "Let It Go" in English at the UK premiere of the movie.
It was announced on 24 October 2014 that Verkaik would be joining the cast of the musical, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, alongside Tasmin Greig, Ricardo Afonso, Hadyn Gwynne, Jérôme Pradon and Anna Skellern, in the role of Paulina. The show's previews started on 16 December 2014 at the West End's Playhouse Theatre with an opening night on 12 January 2015. The show ran until 23 May 2015. This was Verkaik's first role after her surgery in 2014.
On 14 September 2016, it was announced that Verkaik would return to her starring role of Elphaba in the West End production of Wicked beginning 30 January 2017 as part of the production's 10th anniversary celebrations. She played her final performance on 22 July 2017 and was succeeded by Alice Fearn. Verkaik confirmed in her speech at the end of her final performance that, after 10 years, it was her last ever performance as Elphaba.
On February 9, 2020, Verkaik was called to join Idina Menzel, Aurora and eight more of Elsa's international dubbers to perform the song “Into the Unknown” during the 92nd Academy Awards. Every international performer sang one line of the song in a different language: Maria Lucia Heiberg Rosenberg in Danish, Verkaik in German, Takako Matsu in Japanese, Carmen Sarahí in Latin American Spanish, Lisa Stokke in Norwegian, Kasia Łaska in Polish, Anna Buturlina in Russian, Gisela in European Spanish and Gam Wichayanee in Thai.
|The Three Musketeers||Ensemble||2003|
|We Will Rock You||Germany||Killer Queen u/s||2004–2005|
|We Will Rock You||Germany||Killer Queen|
|Broadway, New York||2013|
|Wicked||West End, London||Elphaba||2013–2014|
|Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown||Paulina||2014–2015|
|Wicked||West End, London||Elphaba||2017|
|Ghost the Musical||Berlin, Germany||Molly||2017–2018|
|Bat Out of Hell||Oberhausen, Germany||Sloane||2018–2019|
|Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown||Amsterdam, Netherlands||Pepa||2019|
|Annie||Netherlands and Belgium||Mrs. Hannigan||2019–2020|
- Pfingstgala (Tecklenburg, Openluchttheater, Whit Monday 2006, 2008, 2014 and 2020)
- Concert with Mark Seibert (Stuttgart, Palladium Theater, 26 May 2008)
- Dance Benefit Gala (Hamburg, TUI-Operettenhaus, 29 September 2008)
- Benefit concert with Roberta Valentini (Oberhausen, Metronomtheatre 30 August 2010)
- Simply the Music of Scott Alan (Londen, New Players Theatre, 26 September 2010)
- Backstage with Philippe Ducloux (Essen, hall Lukas, 22 and 23 January 2011)
- Concert with Scott Alan (Hamburger Kammerspiele, 20 June 2011)
- Performance with Jason Robert Brown & Scott Alan (New York, Birdland, 22 August 2011)
- Concert with Alex Melcher (Oberhausen, hall Ebertbad, 31 March 2012)
- Concert with Scott Alan and Friends (New York, Birdland, 30 April 2012)
- As I Am (Scheveningen, Circustheater, 26 June 2012)
- Concert with Patrick Stanke (Hamburg, Stage Club, 10 August 2012)
- Concert with Scott Alan (Amsterdam, M-Lab, 5 November 2012)
- Exclusevening with Willemijn (Utrecht, Boerderij Mereveld, 20 November 2012)
- Concert series Musical & Xmas (Thun, Bern, Switzerland, 12–16 December 2012)
- Concert with Scott Alan (Londen, O2 Arena, 4 August 2013)
- Wow, Here Comes The Girls (Dunstable, The Grove Theatre, 27 April 2014)
- Musicals in Concert (Amsterdam, Ziggo Dome, 15 en 16 November 2014)
- Jesus Christ Superstar in Concert – Maria (Amsterdam, DeLaMar Theater, 16 March 2015)
- Soloconcert (Amsterdam, DeLaMar Theater, 31 mei 2015 en 31 October 2015)
- Soloconcert (London, Ambassadors Theatre, 25 August 2015)
- Soloconcert (New York, 54 Below, 27 & 28 August 2015)
- Musicals in Concert (Amsterdam, Ziggo Dome, 13 & 14 November 2015)
- From Broadway to Breda (Breda, Chassé Theatre, 15 November 2015)
- Exclusevening with Willemijn (De Weistaar, Maarsbergen, 6 June 2016)
- Live in Concert (Cambridge Theatre, London, 31 July 2017)
- Bevrijdingsfestival (Amsterdam, Amstel, 5 May 2018)
- SpaceXperience (Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam, 3 November 2018)
- Jeans 11 (Jeanscompany, 2001)
- Eternity (Orkest Kon. Luchtmacht, 2003)
- Drie Musketiers (Three Musketeers) (Joop van den Ende Theaterproducties, 2003) – a DVD was also released
- Wicked, German cast recording (Stage Entertainment Germany, 2007)
- Frozen, Dutch cast recording (Walt Disney Records, 2014)
- Olaf's Frozen Adventure (Walt Disney Records, 2017)
- Musical Gala Ludwigsburg (2008)
- Best of Musical Gala 2010, Promo CD from Stage Entertainment Germany (2009)
- Musicalballads Unplugged – with Mark Seibert (2010)
- Superstars des Musicals – collection of 3 CDs (2010)
- Scott Alan: What I Wanna Be when I Grow up (2012)
- Scott Alan: Live – double CD recorded in Birdland (2012)
|2004||Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper||Erika||Dutch version|
|2008||Barbie and the Diamond Castle||Lydia|
|2012||Goede tijden, slechte tijden||Elphaba|
German version (singing only)
|2017||Olaf's Frozen Adventure|
|2018||Ralph Breaks the Internet||Dutch version|
|2019||Frozen II||Dutch version
German version (singing only)
- In 2008 and 2010 Verkaik was elected best actress by readers of the German music magazine Da Capo for her portrayal of Elphaba in the German production of Wicked.
- In 2009 she was elected best actress by readers of the German music magazine Da Capo for her portrayal of Amneris in the German production of Aïda.
- In 2009 and 2010 she won the audience prize from the German magazine Musicals for best musical actress.
- In 2010 Verkaik won the voting organised by the site BroadwayisWicked.com where people could vote for the best Elphaba that played in a production of Wicked worldwide. She received 49.9% of a total of 16,705 cast votes.
- On 9 January 2012 it was announced that Verkaik again, in a voting organised by BroadwayisWicked.com, was titled Wicked Personality of the Year 2011. She received 55% of a total of 590,000 cast votes.
- In May 2012 Verkaik won the Musicalworld Award for "best female lead in a big musical" for the portrayal of Elphaba in the Dutch production of Wicked.
- http://feastcreative.com, Feast Creative. "Wicked The Musical". wickedthemusical.co.uk. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
- "Willemijn Verkaik maakt debuut in New York", Musical Reports, 2 August 2011 (in Dutch)
- "Willemijn Verkaik and Mark Seibert", Zibb Archived 17 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine
- "Diva Talk: A Chat with Dutch Actress Willemijn Verkaik, Star of Broadway's Wicked", Playbill
- "Willemijn: alweer Nederlandse Elisabeth", Musical Site Archived 20 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine
- http://broadwayiswicked.com/2010/11/11/willemijn-verkaik-favourite-elphaba/ Archived 22 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine
- "Dutch obtains in leading German musical", Nieuws Archived 23 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine
- "Verkaik and Schere to Star in Germany's Wicked", Playbill
- "Willemijn Verkaik ist die grüne Hexe von 'Ozerhausen'", staff writer, City News, 5 December 2009 (in German)
- Andrew Gans. "Willemijn Verkaik Flies into Broadway's Wicked Feb. 12". Playbill.
- BWW News Desk. "Willemijn Verkaik Confirmed as London's New Elphaba in Wicked From November!". Broadway World.
- BWW News Desk. "Kerry Ellis to Return to West End's Wicked; Willemijn Verkaik Will Play Final Performance this Saturday".
- Genevieve Rafter Keddy. "Photo Coverage: The Songs of Scott Alan at Barnes & Noble". BroadwayWorld.com.
- BWW News Desk. "Wicked's Willemijn Verkaik and More Join Tamsin Greig in West End's Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown". BroadwayWorld.com.
- Joe Gambino. "Former Broadway Elphaba Willemijn Verkaik Joins the German Cast of Disney's Tarzan". Playbill.
- BWW News Desk. "Willemijn Verkaik Returns to Wicked this January!". Broadway World.
- Ben Hewis. "New cast announced for Wicked". Whats on Stage.
- "Willemijn Verkaik plays the lead in musical Ghost in Berlin". nu.nl.
- "German premier in Oberhausen: BAT OUT OF HELL – The Musical featuring global hits by Jim Steinman and originally performed by the worldwide legend Meat Loaf – Bell Media". bellmedia.ca. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
- McPhee, Ryan (10 February 2020). "Watch Idina Menzel and 9 Fellow Elsas Sing Frozen 2's 'Into the Unknown' at the Oscars". Playbill. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
- Bruce Glikas. "Bart van Hoof and wife Willemijn Verkaik pose at the stagedoor as..." Getty Images.
- Willemijn Verkaik Favourite Elphaba
- Willemijn Verkaik is Wicked personality of the year 2011
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