On Nov. 17, Doug Fitch’s production of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel returns to the LA Opera stage for the first time since 2006. From the mythical forest creatures that grace the stage, to an iconic role debut from Susan Graham, the spooky adventures of Hansel and Gretel come to life in this fantastical production. Before you go, here are some highlights to get you excited!
Among the many aspects that make this Hansel and Gretel so special are the larger-than-life creatures that grace the stage. The animals were conceived by Fitch himself, with some of them being over 12-feet tall. According to artisans from the costume shop, some of these pieces require an extraordinary amount of core strength to support. Additionally, the eyes of each creature have been built so that they can be controlled through the light board with all new electronics, and will be synced by the lighting designer, Duane Schuler.
There are a few aspects of the production that differ slightly from its premiere outing in 2006, most noticeably the updated technology. The biggest change is that the show contains brand new projected media, which the tech team has been working on for over six months. Additionally, a number of the special effects include LED technology on the set.
International superstar Susan Graham has appeared with LA Opera many times before, including singing the title roles in The Coronation of Poppea and The Merry Widow, and she recently took on the position of Artistic Adviser to the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program. She returns to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion stage as the Witch, a role she’ll sing for the very first time.
Mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke makes her long awaited LA Opera debut as Hansel, a role she’s sung before at Seattle Opera and will sing again in future seasons. Click here to read our recent interview with Cooke, where she discussed her interpretation of the mischievous title character!
In most productions at LA Opera, our Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artists sing comprimario, or supporting roles. However, in this production, we have young artists singing lead roles as well! Third-year soprano Liv Redpath performs the role of Gretel, with mezzo-soprano Taylor Raven as the Sandman and first-year soprano Sarah Vautour making her company debut as the Dew Fairy.