Appalachian Opera Theatre presents ‘Hansel and Gretel’

Article Published: Mar. 15, 2012 | Modified: Apr. 2, 2012

Student musicians from Appalachian State University’s Opera Theatre in the Hayes School of Music will perform Englebert Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel” March 29 through April 1.

The performances will take place in Broyhill Music Center’s Rosen Concert Hall on campus. The performance will last approximately two hours with a brief intermission. Performances begin at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Admission is $6 for all students. Tickets are $12 for the general public. Tickets are available at the Farthing Auditorium box office, by calling (828) 262-4046 or online at Tickets also will be available at Rosen Concert Hall before each performance.

Humperdinck’s opera is based on the Grimm brothers’ fairytale in which Hansel and Gretel are left in the woods to save their parents from starvation during a famine. The children find a house made of candy and start eating it. A witch lures them into the house, promising beds and food. When the witch prepares an oven to cook the children, Gretel pushes the witch in and frees her brother.

“I’ve always wanted to present this opera,” said Dr. Joseph Amaya, director of the Opera Theatre.

“The audience will enjoy it because of the beautiful music, it is visually interesting, and it’s a timeless tale. The score is interesting because it goes from a high romantic Wagnerian style to very simple harmonic and melodic structures for the children scene.”

Musicians from the Hayes School of Music will perform, directed by Cornelia Laemmli Orth. Orth is in her fifth season as music director of the Symphony of the Mountains. She also has served as interim director of the Appalachian Philharmonia on campus.

The opera is double cast with different students performing the lead roles in alternating performances. They are Paulina Villarreal and Sabbath Ward as Hansel, Andrea Howland-Myers and Kate Edahl as Gretel, Caryn Crozier and Rebekah Holland as Mother, David Clark and Jacob Cook as Father, A.J. McCurry and Leanne Agee as Sadman, Alicia Colvard and Hilary Kearns as Dew Fairy, and Johnny Harmon and Katie Hensley as Witch.

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