This October long weekend, young singers from Pacific Opera’s boutique opera training studio will be tackling Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel.
Directed by the renowned Sydney-based Kate Gaul, the production will be conducted by Luke Spicer with the musicians of the Sydney University Symphony Orchestra making their opera debut.
Kate Gaul says “The story of Hansel and Gretel is possibly well known and in this operatic version, the audience is transported into a spellbinding, haunted forest full of spirits, including a Dew Fairy, a Sandman, and a spooky witch…This opera is based on the rather foreboding fairy tale – originally set in medieval Germany during a famine. This production will not be so dark that it isn’t suitable for children and I hope to see many at this production.” The libretto was written unusually, by a woman, Humperdinck’s sister, Adelheid Wette, based on the Grimm brothers’ fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel”. It is much admired for its folk music-inspired themes, one of the most famous being the “Abendsegen” (“Evening Benediction”) from act 2.
In the lead roles are two young stars from Pacific Opera, Rebecca Hart (23) as Hansel and Emily Turner (27) as Gretel. French-Australian RebeccaHart is in her second year with Pacific Opera, and is currently a semi-finalist in the prestigious Marianne Mathy Award, of the Australian Singing Competition. Emily Turner is in her third year at Pacific Opera. The role of Gretel will be her graduation performance from the Young Artist Program.
Performed in the original German, the performances will feature cutting edge surtitling technology on audience phones, a well as the traditional projected surtitles.
Cast: Hansel – Rebecca Hart/ Gretel- Emily Turner/ Mother- Carli Partridge/ Father – Daniel Macey/ Witch – Hannah Greenshields/ Dew Fairy – Susie Bishop/ Sandman – Elora Ledger
The creative team: Director – Kate Gaul/ Conductor – Luke Spicer/ Orchestra – Sydney University Symphony Orchestra/ Singer Preparation – Simon Kenway at Pacific Opera