“Hänsel and Gretel” Opera to Run March 23-26

The Department of Music will perform Engelbert Humperdinck’s opera “Hänsel and Gretel” March 23-26 in the Ophelia Parrish Performance Hall.

Shows will begin at 8 p.m. March 23-25. A special matinee will be offered at 3 p.m. March 26. Tickets are available at the door and are $3 for students, $5 for general admission.

“Hänsel and Gretel” was initially a set of four songs that Humperdinck wrote at the request of his sister for her children. After the first four, he expanded the songs to a singspiel and eventually a full opera.

Using the Grimm Brothers’ “Hänsel and Gretel” as inspiration, the opera is a little softer and lighter than the original story and features new characters. It begins with Hänsel and Gretel taking a break from chores to cause a little trouble. When their mother, Gertrude, catches them playing instead of doing chores, she chases them out the house and orders them to pick strawberries in the woods. Alone in the woods, Hänsel and Gretel notice strange lights and shadows and become scared. They find a gingerbread house and begin to eat it before getting caught by the inhabitant of the house, the witch, who plans to fatten Hänsel and Gretel up before eating them. Turning the witch’s tricks against her, Hänsel and Gretel are able to escape from the witch’s house.