Opera Australia’s touring program will launch the opera version of “Hansel and Gretel” in NSW schools this year, after touring Victorian schools last year. It will be performed over 200 times, in more than 150 primary schools, to approximately 45,000 children.
Written by 19th century composer Engelbert Humperdinck, who described it as “a fairytale opera” based on the classic Brothers Grimm fairytale, “Hansel and Gretel” has been a favourite of young audiences for over one hundred years.
The primary school tours, performing to well over one million children, have been run by Opera Australia since 1998. Showing people of all ages, especially children, that operas come in all shapes and sizes is a strong way to develop a foundation of knowledge and interest in opera within the wider community.
Opera Australia’s Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini said, “Taking opera to primary schools across NSW is an important part of Opera Australia’s commitment to new audiences and one that we particularly enjoy, not only for its importance in education, but also for the pure fun of entertaining and engaging with our youngest audiences.”
“Hansel and Gretel” was originally devised and directed by Christine Anketell especially for a younger audience. She worked closely with Tim Sexton and Ian Bone who adapted the music and libretto to under one hour. This 2016 production is directed by Sally Blackwood, in conjunction with Musical Director Michael Curtain and features a highly talented rotational cast of six Opera Australia performers, Emily Barber, Belinda Dalton, Angela Hogan, Jared Lillehagen, Eugene Raggio and Jessica Westcott.
With familiar characters performed by an energetic and talented cast, “Hansel and Gretel” is sure to delight children across the state from February to early September 2016.