The Cape Town Opera present their production of Hänsel und Gretel, based on the popular folktale compiled and published by the folklorists, the Brothers Grimm. The opera’s composer, Engelbert Humperdinck, was a disciple of Richard Wagner and had actually worked with Wagner at Bayreuth.
While the opera is based on a children’s tale, this Cape Town Opera production draws on a darker, richer emotional palette than the usual productions of the work. Cape Town Opera Young Artists Brittany Smith sings the role of Gretel, Ane Pretorius as Hansel, and returning South African Jenni Bank appears as both the children’s mother and the witch.
Humperdinck’s work is often labelled Wagnerian. It uses leitmotifs, but individual arias and duets – such as The Children’s Prayer – can stand alone, unlike the more flowing endless melody of Wagner’s own works.
This opera has become one of the very few operas on a children’s tale that has achieved popularity with adults as well as children. It is unusual in that the roles of both of the children, as well as the other leads, save for the children’s father, are all sung by women.
Venue: Artscape Theatre Centre, D.F. Malan St, Foreshore, Cape Town
Time: Wed & Fri – 7:30pm | Sat & Sun – 3pm
Cost: R125 – R275