Opera reimagines fairytale

Caroline Jang and Sylvia Szadovszki perform in Vancouver Opera’s Hansel and Gretel. The show comes to Malaspina Theatre Saturday (March 17). - Tim Matheson photo
Caroline Jang and Sylvia Szadovszki perform in Vancouver Opera’s Hansel and Gretel. The show comes to Malaspina Theatre Saturday (March 17).
— image credit: Tim Matheson photo

Vancouver Opera breathes new life into a classic fairytale in a darkly fantastical  and enchanting production aimed at young people.

Hansel and Gretel, part of TheatreOne’s Just Kidding series, takes to Malaspina Theatre’s stage Saturday (March 17).

Based on Engelbert Humperdinck’s classic opera version of the Grimm Brothers’ fable, the new Vancouver Opera production features four energetic young opera singers, one nimble-fingered pianist, a Gothically gorgeous self-contained set and a full complement of dramatic costumes and props.

Young fans of Lemony Snickett and Edward Gorey will be charmed by the Edwardian-inspired set, designed by Drew Facey, a two-time Jessie Award winner who worked on more than 60 shows.

“In the age of Harry Potter and Twilight, young people today appreciate a darker aesthetic,” explains Amiel Gladstone, stage director. “Drew Facey and I wanted to create something modern, but with references to a sort of Gothic or Edwardian period that may have only existed in our imaginations.”

During its 2011-12 tour, the 45-minute-long production will introduce more than 40,000 young people and their families to the beauty, relevance and sheer fun of opera.

Overseeing the music is director and coordinator Kinza Tyrrell. Tyrrell is also principal répétiteur and assistant chorus director for the opera’s main stage, as well as assistant conductor for the Banff Centre’s opera as theatre program. She recently appeared in a B.C. recital tour with Richard Margison, which included a show at Nanaimo’s Port Theatre.

Tickets for the show are $14 by calling 250-754-7587 or visiting www.theatreone.org.

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