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5.12.11

Have a Pop-Tart, Dearie

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E. Humperdinck, Hansel and Gretel, C. Schäfer, A. Coote,
P. Langridge, Metropolitan Opera,
V. Jurowski
Charles T. Downey, Virginia Opera’s modern-day take on ‘Hansel and Gretel’
Washington Post, December 5, 2011
The Virginia Opera, in the first full season since its board unceremoniously ousted founding director Peter Mark, is not playing it safe. After a gutsy “Aida” in October, the company’s new production of Engelbert Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel” is anything but the usual cloying sort of December fantasyland staging for this opera. The audience at the George Mason University Center for the Arts was a little sparse, thinning out even more at intermission, perhaps missing the gingerbread house and candy canes.

Strong performances came from the young cast, especially the ardent Gretel of soprano Julia Ebner, the robust Dew Fairy of soprano Elizabeth Baldwin; and the acid-edged mezzo-soprano of Margaret Gawrysiak, as both the mother and the witch. The convincingly boyish Hansel of mezzo-soprano Karin Mushegain was pleasing (in the sweet prayer duet, for example), if slightly underpowered, while baritone Eric Greene’s father was energetic but a little unfocused and wild at the top. [Continue reading]
SEE ALSO:
Roy Proctor, Opera review: 'Hansel and Gretel' (Richmond Times-Dispatch, November 27)

David Nicholson, Virginia Opera opens an updated version of 'Hansel and Gretel' (Daily Press, November 10)

Laura Watkins, ‘Hansel and Gretel’ for the modern age (Virginian-Pilot, November 10)

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