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Opera Professionals Descend on Donegal for Hansel and Gretel

In just over a week a plethora of international music talent will descend on Donegal to begin final rehearsals for the North West Opera’s lavish production of Hansel & Gretel.

Hansel and Gretel is a feast of fantasy, comedy and drama woven through with soaring arias, rich choral melodies and charming ballet sequences.

Anton Zapf conducts the North West Opera's  20 piece orchestra for Hansel and Gretel at An Grianán Theatre this November.

Anton Zapf will conduct the North West Opera’s 20 piece orchestra for Hansel and Gretel at An Grianán Theatre this November.

The NWO have been extremely fortunate to be able to welcome conductor Anton Zapf, who has worked with over 60 orchestras in 15 countries, including many national opera companies. It is Anton’s enthusiasm to be able to bring opera to all, and his long-standing friendship with NWO Musical Director Ann Jennings, that has drawn him to Donegal. He will lead a 20 piece orchestra of professional classical musicians drawn from all over Europe.

Ann Jennings (on piano) leads some of the adult chorus of Hansel and Gretel during rehearsals.

Ann Jennings (on piano) rehearses with some of the adult chorus of Hansel and Gretel.

The three principal soloists are all opera professionals of considerable experience.

The Witch/Mother is played by Soprano Ann Jennings, who has performed opera internationally for over 20 years.

Left to right: Anna-Louise Costello (Hansel) and Diana Bryan-McLaughlin (Gretel) in the North West Opera's Hansel and Gretel. An Grianan Theatre. Letterkenny November 2015

Left to right: Anna-Louise Costello (Hansel) and Diana Bryan-McLaughlin (Gretel) in the North West Opera’s Hansel and Gretel. An Grianan Theatre. Letterkenny November 2015

Hansel is played by Mayo born Anna-Louise Costello, a graduate of Dublin Conservatory of Music and the Royal Academy of Music, London and currently based in Berlin, Germany.

Gretel is played by American Soprano Diana Bryan-McLaughlin, trained by NY Met Soprano Sharon Christman, she has extensively performed in both traditional and modern opera works.

They are ably accompanied by the excellently trained North West Opera chorus, including the angelic sounding children’s chorus and ballet dancers from Zona Dance.

Dancers from Jessica People's Zona Dance Studios preparing for Hansel and Gretel.

Dancers from Jessica People’s Zona Dance Studios preparing for Hansel and Gretel.

About Hansel and Gretel

In Humperdinck’s native Germany, Hansel & Gretel is a hugely popular opera.

Since its first performance in 1893, it has captured the hearts of the audience and today is considered a national treasure. In fact the run up to Christmas in Germany would not be complete without it.

It is the perfect production if you already enjoy opera but also very accessible making it an ideal introduction to opera for newcomers.  The story on which it is based is universally known, and in addition this production will be sung in English making it easy to follow.

Hansel and Gretel follows on from the North West Opera’s highly successful productions of The Magic Flute, Carmen, La Boheme and La Traviata.

Do not miss out on this opportunity to see this beautiful grand opera on your doorstep!

Visit northwestoperaireland on facebook or go northwestopera.com for regular updates or see our event page to find out more or book tickets.

Hansel and Gretel
Fri 20 and Sat 21 Nov 2015 at 8pm
Tickets: €25, under 18s €18 Find out more