Piccola Youth Opera to perform ‘Hansel & Gretel’

It’s safe to assume you know the story of Hansel and Gretel. You know, the one about the brother and sister who are left in the woods by their parents. They get lost, eventually find a house made of gingerbread and are held captive by an evil witch before making a grand escape.

Yeah that one. And in case you didn’t know, it’s not just a fairy tale written in the early 1800s or a cool movie. It was also converted into an opera by Engelbert Humperdinck in 1893, and was chosen to be Piccola Opera’s first ever youth production.

Last summer, younger singers were cast in Piccola’s main stage production and it went over quite well.

“We had such a good response, we figured why not see what they can do with a full youth production,” said Jane Cormier, founder and director of Piccola Opera.

So if you’re looking to add a little culture into your life, you might want to grab a ticket for the performance. It’s the only planned public production of the edited down opera, so if you don’t make plans to go to the Audi Saturday night, you might never get another chance to see it.

Typically, Hansel and Gretel is a three act opera, but Cormier broke it down to a condensed version that will last just over an hour.

“We kept the stuff that was light and fun,” Cormier said. “It’s simple, but fun.”

The cast of 15, which includes 12 singers, were chosen after an audition last fall. And for the about the last 10 weeks, the group has been getting together on Saturdays for a few hours to rehearse.

Soon, you’ll be able to see all the hard work they put in.

“If you’ve never seen an opera, you’re going to be engaged with this performance,” Cormier said.

The background is a series of 6-foot-by-6-foot canvases on wheels that were painted by a local student and will be changed by cast members as the story unfolds.

And as far as costumes go, you’ll just have to buy a ticket to see what they look like.

The production is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Audi. Tickets are $10 in advance and can be purchased at piccolaopera.net, or $12 at the door.

“We wanted one good performance for the kids,” Cormier said.

For more info, visit piccolaopera.net.


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