Annual opera from Queensland Conservatorium
Be lured by the famous fairy-tale adventure of Hansel & Gretel as opera students of Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University bring this musical treasure to life on stage.
Under the direction of international conductor Johannes Fritzsch and playwright and director Michael Gow, the production will take a new direction for the much-loved story, stepping away from the traditional gingerbread theme.
“We’ve set it in our own fairy-tale world, a world before the internet and supermarkets that we hope will resonate with nostalgia for older audiences while giving younger people a sense of a parallel world that is both familiar and a little once upon a time,” he says.
The real driving energy of this great work, he explains, is the joyful chaos of children.
“It’s this tension between order and chaos, freedom and rigid control that we’ve explored,” he says.
“For all the piety of the morals involved, it’s Hansel’s, and especially Gretel’s, fearlessness, wildness and ingenuity that save the day.
“It’s a really interesting journey, especially for the female character, to see her become the main hero in the end.
“Together with Hansel she overcomes the witch, who wants to turn children into well behaved carbon copies, and frees the children who’ve already fallen victim to her scheme.
“The score is fantastic with some exceptionally memorable moments and costumes and a set that reflect the mythical element of the show.”
Set in the 1960s, the family struggles with not having enough to make ends meet, with the father not a broom maker but a vacuum salesman instead.
It’s this, Michael says, that carries through the “concept of tension between organised cleanliness versus the chaos of children”, which resonates throughout each scene.
Describing the young cast as “exceptionally keen and talented”, Michael says having worked with Opera Australia’s touring and outreach program previously, he has come across many graduates so can clearly see the pathway for these emerging artists.
Sung in English, the production will showcase the outstanding talent of the QCGU’s opera school and orchestral instrumentalists in four not-to-be-missed performances for all ages.
Hansel & Gretel Show Times
Sunday 16 August, 3.00pm
Tuesday 18 August, 6.30pm
Thursday 20 August, 7.30pm
Friday 21 August, 7.30pm
Queensland Conservatorium Theatre, 140 Grey Street, South Bank. Tickets via qtix.
OPEN DAY TICKET SPECIAL. VISIT QUEENSLAND CONSERVATORIUM ON SUNDAY 9 AUGUST DURING GRIFFITH UNIVERSITY ‘S OPEN DAY AT THE SOUTH BANK CAMPUS TO PURCHASE TWO FOR ONE TICKETS FOR SELECT PERFORMANCES. AVAILABLE FROM THE BOX OFFICE ON LEVEL 1.
These performances of Hansel & Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck with translation by Norman Kelley are given by permission of Hal Leonard Australia Pty Ltd, exclusive agents for Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd of London
Media Contact: Lauren Marino, 0418 799 544, [email protected]