hansel and gretel

Hansel and Gretel: Take a closer look

Hansel and Gretel opened its national tour at the Abbey Theatre on 8 February, a tour which will conclude here at An Grianán on Saturday 7 March.

As you would expect from our national opera company this is a gorgeous production with very high production values as you can see from these images taken by Patrick Redmond. Set & Costume Design is by Jamie Vartan, and lighting is by Sarah-Jane Shiels.

Hansel and Gretel is a co-production by Irish National Opera, Theatre Lovett and Abbey Theatre.

L-R: Raymond Keane (The Night Watchman), Raphaela Mangan (Hansel), Miriam Murphy (Mother), Ben McAteer (Father). Photo by Patrick Redmond.

L-R: Raymond Keane (The Night Watchman), Raphaela Mangan (Hansel), Miriam Murphy (Mother), Ben McAteer (Father). Photo by Patrick Redmond.

L-R: Conductor Richard Peirson (at piano), Amelie Metcalfe and Ronan Millar (Yellow Coats, The Lost Children), Raymond Keane (The Night Watchman). Photo by Patrick Redmond.

L-R: Conductor Richard Peirson (at piano), Amelie Metcalfe and Ronan Millar (Yellow Coats, The Lost Children), Raymond Keane (The Night Watchman). Photo by Patrick Redmond.

L-R: Conductor Richard Peirson (at piano), Raphaela Mangan (Hansel) and Amy Ní Fhearraigh (Gretel), and Raymond Keane (The Night Watchman). Photo by Patrick Redmond.

L-R: Conductor Richard Peirson (at piano), Raphaela Mangan (Hansel) and Amy Ní Fhearraigh (Gretel), and Raymond Keane (The Night Watchman). Photo by Patrick Redmond.

L-R: Amy Ní Fhearraigh (Gretel) and Raphaela Mangan (Hansel). Photo by Patrick Redmond

L-R: Amy Ní Fhearraigh (Gretel) and Raphaela Mangan (Hansel). Photo by Patrick Redmond

Carolyn Dobbin (Witch. Photo by Patrick Redmond.

Carolyn Dobbin (Witch. Photo by Patrick Redmond.

L-R: Conductor Richard Peirson (at piano), Raphaela Mangan (Hansel, above in cage) Carolyn Dobbin (Witch, in white), Amy Ní Fhearraigh (Gretel), and Raymond Keane (The Night Watchman). Photo by Patrick Redmond.

L-R: Conductor Richard Peirson (at piano), Raphaela Mangan (Hansel, above in cage) Carolyn Dobbin (Witch, in white), Amy Ní Fhearraigh (Gretel), and Raymond Keane (The Night Watchman). Photo by Patrick Redmond.

L-R_-Conductor-Richard-Peirson-(at-piano),-Carolyn-Dobbin-(Witch,-in-cage),--Raphaela-Mangan-(Hansel,-above-on-balcony),-Amy-Ní-Fhearraigh-(Gretel)

L-R_-Conductor-Richard-Peirson-(at-piano),-Carolyn-Dobbin-(Witch,-in-cage),–Raphaela-Mangan-(Hansel,-above-on-balcony),-Amy-Ní-Fhearraigh-(Gretel). Photo by Patrick Redmond.

 

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Theatre Lovett on directing their first opera Hansel and Gretel

Muireann Ahern and Louis Lovett, Artistic Directors of Theatre Lovett and co-directors of Irish National Opera’s production of ‘Hansel and Gretel’, talk about their work and this new production.

Hansel and Gretel is a co-production from Irish National Opera, Theatre Lovett and the Abbey Theatre. It comes to An Grianán on Saturday 7 March 2020. Find out more here.

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An Opera For Your Inner Child and Your Grown-up Self

Irish National Opera, Theatre Lovett and the Abbey Theatre present Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel

Irish National Opera, Theatre Lovett and the Abbey Theatre present their national tour of Engelbert Humperdinck’s greatest hit, his heart-warming fairytale opera HANSEL AND GRETEL this spring.

After its opening run at The Abbey Theatre, Dublin, Saturday 8 – Saturday 15 February, 2020, Hansel and Gretel will be performed at An Grianán for one night only on Saturday 7 March – book now.

“Humperdinck’s music conjures just the right type of magic to ensnare us all in his world.” – Muireann Ahern, co-director

“A great starting point for anybody new to opera” – Fergus Sheil, INO Artistic Director

Irish National Opera, Theatre Lovett and the Abbey Theatre are collaborating for the first time on an exciting new production of Engelbert Humperdinck’s masterpiece, the compelling three-act opera Hansel and Gretel, reimagined in a mysterious modern setting. One of the greatest operas about children, Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel is sweet and beguiling, combining childlike simplicity with heart-aching beauty. Don’t be fooled. This is a story of greed, mouth-wateringly sugar-coated.

This provocative production will be performed in English, with English surtitles, by an Irish cast of six singers and three actors, with an ensemble of seven musicians on stage

After six nights at the Abbey Theatre, this new production of the world’s favourite fairytale opera goes on a nationwide tour to nine theatres around the country.

HANSEL AND GRETEL
Hansel and Gretel, with a libretto by the composer’s sister Adelheid Wette based on the Brothers Grimm’s fairy tale, was an immediate, whirlwind success at its premiere in Weimar in December 1893. A year later it had been produced in 50 theatres in Germany alone, and it quickly made its way to Dublin, where it was produced in August 1895. It’s one of the small number of operas that has an enduring appeal for children as well as adults and INO’s new production will be sung in David Pountney’s English translation.

THEATRE LOVETT
Theatre Lovett has been described by The Irish Times “one of the most imaginative and indispensable companies at work today”. Muireann Ahern, who co-directs the opera with Louis Lovett, says “We are thrilled to be sinking our teeth into Humperdinck’s delicious opera. Our penchant is for stage work that appeals to both adult and child. We are looking forward to working with Irish National Opera for the first time, and bringing our cross-generational approach to this operatic party. We will have a fresh slant on the situation of the poverty-stricken family whose children stray into a beguiling culinary underworld.”

THE ABBEY THEATRE
Graham McLaren and Neil Murray, Directors of the Abbey Theatre add “Collaboration is a key pillar of our programming – joining forces with talented artists and companies on projects that, we feel, say something about the world we live in and hold a mirror up to Irish society. We are proud to partner with Theatre Lovett and Irish National Opera to bring a fresh, new production of this beloved fairytale and fantastic opera to audiences both here at the Abbey in Dublin and across the country.”

IRISH NATIONAL OPERA
INO Artistic Director Fergus Sheil says, “I really love the work of Theatre Lovett. Both Muireann Ahern and Louis Lovett have a cheekiness and irreverence that guarantees fun, but they also have a serious understanding of how to make their work really connect with audiences. And I have always had a soft spot for Engelbert Humperdinck’s best-known opera, which was praised by some of the great figures of his time, including Richard Strauss, who conducted the first performance, and Gustav Mahler, who conducted it the following year. Hansel and Gretel seemed to me like a perfect vehicle for Muireann and Louis to begin their first operatic exploration.

“We are excited to bring an INO production to the stage of our national theatre for the first time, and with the nationwide tour, the production will have the longest run of any Irish National Opera production to date.”

IRISH CAST
Mezzo-soprano Raphaela Mangan, who sings Hansel, says, “A children’s story told through opera, what’s not to love?” And she describes the role of Hansel as “one of my favourite roles to sing.” Soprano Amy Ní Fhearraigh, the production’s Gretel, says “It’s the perfect opera for audiences young and old with its combination of lush but approachable and playful music. And of course, it’s a fairytale story that everyone knows and loves.”

The all-Irish cast also includes Miriam Murphy, who makes her INO stage debut as Mother. Ben McAteer, whose INO debut as the Count in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro was described by Opera Journal as “perfectly measured for technique and character,” sings Father. Cork soprano Emma Nash, praised by the Sunday Independent for her “powerfully soaring Amore” in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice for INO, sings the Dew Fairy and Sandman. Carrickfergus mezzo-soprano Carolyn Dobbin makes her INO debut as the Witch.

Performance date: Sat 7 March at 8pm. Tickets are €30/€27 with special discounts for families and under 18s. Find out more here.

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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

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