Date(s) - 12/19/2015
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Del Valle Theatre
For the second year in a row, Solo Opera is pleased to present Engelbert Humperdincks’s masterpiece, Hansel and Gretel, the first production in its 2015 Storybook Opera series for children and families. For this delightful holiday presentation, Solo Opera will again be collaborating with three well-known community organizations. First, the Contra Costa Children’s Chorus, under the artistic direction of Andrew Brown, will be performing as the Gingerbread Children Chorus. In addition, dancers from Lori Buffalow’s The Next Step Dance Studio will appear as the Fourteen Angel Ballet, choreographed by Kristin DelSoldato. The third collaborator is the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. Throughout Hansel and Gretel, there is a running theme of hunger and poverty. In order to tie this into the needs of the community, Solo Opera is asking the audience to bring a nonperishable food item to the shows to donate to the Food Bank.
The story of Hansel and Gretel originates from the beloved German fairytale concerning two poor hungry children sent into the forest by their mother. Lost, they encounter a wicked witch who lives in a house made of gingerbread. She tries to capture the children, but they outwit her and end up bringing back to life all the other lost youth of the village whom the witch had turned into gingerbread children. The idea for the “fairy tale opera”, as Humperdinck called it, was proposed to the composer by his sister, Adelheid Wette. She approached him about writing music for some lyrics she had written for her children for Christmas based on the Grimm’s fairy tale. Together the brother and sister team, much like Hansel and Gretel, wrote the music and libretto for the operatic masterpiece. Much admired for its folk music-inspired themes, Hansel and Gretel was first performed in Hoftheater in Weimar on December 23, 1893 and conducted by Richard Strauss. It has been associated with Christmas since its earliest performances, and today, also because of its “gingerbread” themes, is still most often produced at that time of year.
Hansel and Gretel will be directed/produced by Solo Opera Artistic Director, Sylvia Amorino. The music director/ conductor/pianist will be Alexander Katsman of Livermore Valley Opera. Peter Crompton, award winning scenic designer, has been chosen to create the Hansel and Gretel set. He is well known for his colorful and imaginative opera designs. The cast includes Megan Stetson (Hansel), Diane Squires (Gretel), Deborah Rosengaus (Witch), Bradley Kynard (Father), Jamie Samantha Lee (Mother), Katie Carlson (Dew Fairy / Gretel cover), Megan Berti (Sandman / Hansel cover), the Contra Costa Children’s Chorus as the Gingerbread Children Chorus, and Lori Buffalow’s The Next Step Dance Studio as the Fourteen Angel Ballet.
The show runs at the Del Valle Theatre, 1963 Tice Valley Blvd, Walnut Creek, CA 94595
December 18, 2015 (Friday) – 7:30 pm,
December 19, 2015 (Saturday) – 2:00 pm,
December 20, 2015 (Sunday) -2:00pm
Seating is reserved, group discounts are available.
Tickets $25 – Youth 17 and under / $ 35 – Seniors / $ 40 – Adults.
For tickets call (925) 943-7469; or visit the Lesher Center box office, or online at https://lesherartscenter.showare.com/eventperformances.asp?evt=411