SAN JOSE, CA — Opera San José is launching the holidays with a family-friendly production of Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel that offers treats to go along with this irresistible fairy tale. Kids who attend will not only enjoy a fully produced opera, but will also receive a small gift upon entrance, treats, and opportunities to interact with costumed characters and be photographed in fun, fairy tale settings in the lobby. (The show is recommended for children ages 6 and over.) There will be six performances at the California Theatre from November 16 – December 1. [Click here for event information]
Opera San José’s Hansel and Gretel presents an excellent introduction to opera for the youngest of music lovers, with a fantastical world including colorful Candyland sets, first-class singing, and a chance to view other clever children appearing on stage as angels and gingerbread cookies. While adults enjoy the rich score inspired by the sophisticated orchestrations of Wagner, youngsters will be transported by the not-very-scary tale of two children who use their wits to overcome a bumbling witch, setting free a whole batch of gingerbread children from her fearful spell.
Cast members of Hansel and Gretel include Stephanie Sanchez (Hansel), Elena Galván (Gretel), Kerriann Otaño (Mother), Eugene Brancoveanu (Father), Kerriann Otaño (Witch), Amy Gomerac (Dew Fairy), and Talin Nalbandian (Sandman).
Opera San José Music Director Joseph Marcheso conducts one of his favorite scores, while Layna Chianakas provides stage direction. (Christopher Ray, Opera San José’s current Resident Conductor, will be conducting on November 24th and December 1st.) Other members of the creative team include Mark Foehringer (Choreographer), Larry Hancock (Set Designer), Elizabeth Poindexter (Costume Design), Alyssa Oania (Costume Director), Pamila Z. Gray (Lighting Designer), Christina Martin (Wigs/Makeup), and Peggy Spool (Chorus Master).
Hansel and Gretel will be sung in English with English supertitles. The runtime is just under two hours, including intermission.
General Director Emeritus Larry Hancock will present a free 45-minute talk to ticket holders about the opera at the California Theatre before each performance. The talk begins at 6:30pm prior to evening performances and at 1:30pm prior to Sunday matinees.
Opera San José, performing at the beautiful California Theatre in downtown San Jose, is a professional, regional opera company that is unique in the United States. Maintaining a resident company of principal artists, Opera San José specializes in showcasing professional singers. In addition to mainstage performances, Opera San José maintains extensive educational programs in schools and in the community at large, and it offers preview lectures and Introduction to Opera talks for all mainstage productions.