Attending the Opera to see Opera North Hansel & Gretel, I thought it was time to introduce my daughter (age 8) to her first Opera experience. I explained that the story being a Fairytale may get a little scary, but the story would be told with singing and that it may be sung in a different language. Upon arrival we were pleased to know it would be in English and also being signed with big screens and subtitles.
The Orchestra began preparing for the show, just enough time to go and take a look at all the various instruments that we would hear.
A musical introduction in the dimly lit Theatre prepared the audience,the screen lifted and the set was a simple kitchen design. Hansel & Gretel appeared in modern costume, modern kids messing around and wishing they could feed their hungry mouths.
The striking moment was when they began filming each other, as with all children today they are never too far from technology.
Hansel played by Katie Bray & Gretel by Fflur Wyn controlled the camera and their images leapt around the walls & ceiling of the stage, the children sang and argued causing the only food in the house to tumble to the floor.
The story progresses with the children being lost in the woods, a brilliant but simple effect is caught via the video camera. Lost and alone in the woods they fall asleep. A wonderful and interesting visual experience, the dream sequences led further into the story. The singing accompanied by the subtitles was a great introduction to Opera. The Orchestra was wonderful and surrounded the Theatre with it’s melodies. I would encourage Parents to take their children to see this production, if they have an interest in music, drama or even art it is worth the trip.
Opera North is also showing other Operas including Cinderella, I was told that it also has a modern twist.
We absolutely enjoyed this production, my daughter is now a fan & was eager to let her school know all about it. A little different if you are thinking of ways to entertain older children. I am not a regular Opera buff but I have always been impressed with Opera North productions.
Good points – Modern twist and visually exciting
Bad points – The Witch scene could have been in more depth
Review : Hansel & Gretel – Opera North Theatre Royal Nottingham
Wednesday 22nd March 2017