UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

UNCG Opera’s ‘Hansel and Gretel’

The classic fairy tale opera “Hansel and Gretel” will be this year’s spring opera production by the School of Music, Theatre and Dance.

Performances in Aycock Auditorium will be Thursday and Friday, March 31 and April 1, at 7:30 p.m., and a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee on April 3. Tickets cost: $20 general admission; $15 children, non-UNCG students and seniors; $12 groups of 10 or more and UNCG alumni; and $10 UNCG student. They are available through the box office at 336-334-4849 or online at boxoffice.uncg.edu.

Composed by Engelbert Humperdinck, “Hansel and Gretel” is based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale. UNCG’s production will feature the Minnesota Opera’s English translation by Carol Palca.

Director of Opera David Holley, who is stage directing “Hansel and Gretel,” said, “We haven’t done this magnificent opera since 1999, and I am so excited to share it with our audience and community. As with our last production, we are excited to partner with the Greensboro Youth Chorus. We had auditions and are using 20 youngsters from the GYC for the Gingerbread Children who appear at the end of the opera!

“The music in ‘Hansel and Gretel’ is some of the most beautiful and tuneful in all of opera. Some of it has a folk-like quality and other parts are patterned after Wagner. It is an opera that will appeal to veteran opera-goers, as well as an excellent show for people who have never been to an opera before. Nearly everyone knows the familiar story, and even though we are presenting it in English, we will still provide supertitles above the stage.”

“The fantasy and fairy tale elements of this opera allow the wonderful artists in our Department of Theatre to display their gifts, from Deborah Bell’s costumes to Noah Davis’ special effects, to the lighting and scene design of guest designer Jimmy Ray Ward. This production promises to please the eyes as well as the ears of our audiences.”

Major roles in the production are being performed by JoAna Rusche and Diana Yodzis as Hansel; Joann Martinson and Chelsea Bonagura as Gretel; Shonda Devine and Katherine Richardson as Gertrude, the mother; Joshua Witt as Peter, the father; Kelly Burns and Michelle Ayers as the Witch; Anne Claire Niver and Maggie Schwenker as the Sandman; Julia MacDonald and Jessica Mariskanish as the Dew Fairy; UNCG dance students as Angels; and members of the Greensboro Youth Chorus as the Gingerbread Children.

In addition to Holley, the conductor and music director will be Jack Jarrett with the University Symphony Orchestra, and chorus master will be Tom Shelton. Guest designer for sets and lighting is Jimmy Ray Ward of Roanoke, Va., and costumes are by Deborah Bell of the Department of Theatre.

By Steve Gilliam