Opera North to showcase ‘unsettling’ Hansel and Gretel

This March a series of productions celebrating the timeless appeal of fairy-tales will be showcased at The Lowry.

The fairy-tale season opens with a re-working of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. This production is a darkly compelling version of the Brothers Grimm story about growing up and surviving childhood.

Hansel and Gretel is for some, the best-loved of all the operatic fairy tales. It is thought to have an unending thread of ‘golden melody’ woven throughout its charming score.

However, in this re-working – which is directed by Edward Dick – it is also one of the most unsettling tales.

Raised in a poor home – in which hunger is ever-present – brother and sister escape to the forest.

In the forest, they encounter supernatural forces which are both good and evil. They encounter the Sandman and the terrifying Witch. This is a contemporary take on a classic story. The perils of growing up are revealed.

Susan Bullock CBE takes on a dual role, playing the Witch and children’s mother, Gertrud. This is Bullock’s first Opera North appearance since singing the title role in Elekra in 2008.

Two young British opera singers take on the roles of Hansel and Gretel. These young singers are Katie Bray, who sings Hansel and Fflur Wyn who sings Gretel.

Bray charmed audiences when she took on the role of Rosina in The Barber of Seville. Wyn recently performed as Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier.

The production is at the Lowry on 8 and 11 March at 7.00pm.

TNT Arts and Culture

Photo Credit: Opera North

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