HANSEL AND GRETEL

Critics

LemonMeter

94 %

Reviews: 9

Audience

LemonMeter

Reviews: 0

The spooky adventures of Hansel and Gretel comes to the operatic stage with 12-foot-tall creatures, fantastical sets and elaborate special effects. Diva extraordinaire Susan Graham stars as the uproariously wicked witch, eager to lure her young victims into a delicious trap, but last-minute ingenuity saves the day and the plucky children emerge triumphant in the heartfelt conclusion.  James Conlon conducts Engelbert Humperdinck's sumptuous music, written in the Wagnerian mode, that was championed by Strauss and Mahler.

Reviews

Patrick Chavis
"“Hansel and Gretel” is the kind of show that if you haven't been to the opera in a while truly might get the opera bug to bite you once more. It's very accessible as an English opera [that's] well done and enjoyable."

sweet - Matthew Robinson - LA Theatre Bites - Podcast - ...read full review


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"As we've come to expect from LA Opera, the cast delivered a pitch-perfect performance... To hear the Los Angeles Children's Chorus sing was the cherry on top of LA Opera's “Hansel and Gretel” treat."

sweet - Julie Riggott - Culture Spot LA - ...read full review


Avatar
"LA Opera's bewitching Hansel and Gretel may be the most enchanting, optically opulent opera this reviewer has ever seen at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. With its stellar stagecraft , stagemanship and eye- popping, jaw-dropping scenery designed by director Doug Fitch with lighting by Duane Schuler, the audience is transported into a spellbinding, haunted forest full of spirits, including a Dew Fairy (Georgia soprano Sarah Vautour), a Sandman (North Carolina mezzo-soprano Taylor Raven), plus a spooky witch (mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, who's quite the ham)."

sweet - Ed Rampell - Free Press - ...read full review


Travis Michael Holder
"Besides Doug Fitch's massive, fanciful creatures and equally huge cartoon sets which roll in and out with astonishing regularity, there's the fact that Engelbert Humperdinck's enduring though not monumental score is conducted by the legendary James Conlon leading the impressive LA Opera Orchestra and, at the piece's finale, all of the Witch's pintsized victims who have been turned into gingerbread men emerge as a glorious band of survivors beautifully voiced and sweetly performed by members of the Los Angeles Children's Chorus."

sweet - Travis Michael Holder - TicketHolders LA - ...read full review


Avatar
"Overall, with the familial warmth and love that takes precedence during the holidays, Humperdinck's “Hansel and Gretel” remains pertinent to the ebullient imagination of children and their doting parents. Doug Fitch's vision, in addition to James Conlon's conducting, has bred an amazing visual soundscape of otherworldly wonders."

sweet - Imaan Jalali - LA Excites - ...read full review


Avatar
"Hansel and Gretel is a holiday plum – you could call it The Nutcracker of opera – and this production delights on two counts, with music sophisticated enough for the most demanding opera fan and a beloved story to enrapture children."

sweet-sour - Jane Rosenberg - Seen and Heard International - ...read full review


Avatar
"A stellar cast was assembled to inhabit this fantasy world. Thanks to lively direction (also by Doug Fitch) and theater magic, Sasha Cooke (Hansel) and Liv Redpath (Gretel) look and act like two fidgeting, mischievous teenagers, singing their lines in childlike pure tones, whose similar timbers suggest their sibling kinship. (This Gretel even manages to slide down a lollipop flag pole at the Witch's house like an intrepid fireman!)"

sweet - Truman C. Wang - Classical Voice - ...read full review


Avatar
"Although the libretto makes it an appropriate first opera for children, musically, this opera with its fully fleshed-out orchestration appeals to adults. Composer Engelbert Humperdinck worked with Richard Wagner on PARSIFALand was influenced by his works. HANSEL has some orchestral parallels with LOHENGRIN and THE FLYING DUTCHMAN, for example."

sweet - Maria Nockin - Broadway World - ...read full review


Avatar
"Taken as a whole, this production is all sugar and spice. Poverty and hunger and the threat of violence are present as part of the narrative, but thematically they are overshadowed by storybook imagery. Richard Spark's singsong English libretto keeps things light with lyrical rhymes. With the help of charming puppet spirit animals and stellar leads, this is a fantasy world audiences will be happy to join."

sweet - Catherine Womack - LA Times - ...read full review


Patrick Chavis
"“Hansel and Gretel” is the kind of show that if you haven't been to the opera in a while truly might get the opera bug to bite you once more. It's very accessible as an English opera [that's] well done and enjoyable."

sweet - Matthew Robinson - LA Theatre Bites - Podcast - ...read full review


Avatar
"As we've come to expect from LA Opera, the cast delivered a pitch-perfect performance... To hear the Los Angeles Children's Chorus sing was the cherry on top of LA Opera's “Hansel and Gretel” treat."

sweet - Julie Riggott - Culture Spot LA - ...read full review


Avatar
"LA Opera's bewitching Hansel and Gretel may be the most enchanting, optically opulent opera this reviewer has ever seen at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. With its stellar stagecraft , stagemanship and eye- popping, jaw-dropping scenery designed by director Doug Fitch with lighting by Duane Schuler, the audience is transported into a spellbinding, haunted forest full of spirits, including a Dew Fairy (Georgia soprano Sarah Vautour), a Sandman (North Carolina mezzo-soprano Taylor Raven), plus a spooky witch (mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, who's quite the ham)."

sweet - Ed Rampell - Free Press - ...read full review


Travis Michael Holder
"Besides Doug Fitch's massive, fanciful creatures and equally huge cartoon sets which roll in and out with astonishing regularity, there's the fact that Engelbert Humperdinck's enduring though not monumental score is conducted by the legendary James Conlon leading the impressive LA Opera Orchestra and, at the piece's finale, all of the Witch's pintsized victims who have been turned into gingerbread men emerge as a glorious band of survivors beautifully voiced and sweetly performed by members of the Los Angeles Children's Chorus."

sweet - Travis Michael Holder - TicketHolders LA - ...read full review


Avatar
"Overall, with the familial warmth and love that takes precedence during the holidays, Humperdinck's “Hansel and Gretel” remains pertinent to the ebullient imagination of children and their doting parents. Doug Fitch's vision, in addition to James Conlon's conducting, has bred an amazing visual soundscape of otherworldly wonders."

sweet - Imaan Jalali - LA Excites - ...read full review


Avatar
"Hansel and Gretel is a holiday plum – you could call it The Nutcracker of opera – and this production delights on two counts, with music sophisticated enough for the most demanding opera fan and a beloved story to enrapture children."

sweet-sour - Jane Rosenberg - Seen and Heard International - ...read full review


Avatar
"A stellar cast was assembled to inhabit this fantasy world. Thanks to lively direction (also by Doug Fitch) and theater magic, Sasha Cooke (Hansel) and Liv Redpath (Gretel) look and act like two fidgeting, mischievous teenagers, singing their lines in childlike pure tones, whose similar timbers suggest their sibling kinship. (This Gretel even manages to slide down a lollipop flag pole at the Witch's house like an intrepid fireman!)"

sweet - Truman C. Wang - Classical Voice - ...read full review


Avatar
"Although the libretto makes it an appropriate first opera for children, musically, this opera with its fully fleshed-out orchestration appeals to adults. Composer Engelbert Humperdinck worked with Richard Wagner on PARSIFALand was influenced by his works. HANSEL has some orchestral parallels with LOHENGRIN and THE FLYING DUTCHMAN, for example."

sweet - Maria Nockin - Broadway World - ...read full review


Avatar
"Taken as a whole, this production is all sugar and spice. Poverty and hunger and the threat of violence are present as part of the narrative, but thematically they are overshadowed by storybook imagery. Richard Spark's singsong English libretto keeps things light with lyrical rhymes. With the help of charming puppet spirit animals and stellar leads, this is a fantasy world audiences will be happy to join."

sweet - Catherine Womack - LA Times - ...read full review