Sunday March 4, 2012


Sunday Papers

Hansel & Gretel

Classic fairy tale revealed through song at the Cultch March 11

Released by Ann Goodswaard, CACC


fresh and visually stunning, Hansel and Gretel at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre brings Vancouver Opera back to the Centre’s main stage in a spectacular performance the classic German fairy tale, March 11 at 2:00 and 4:00pm.


Powerful singing from a brilliantly talented young cast is sure to charm audience members with their zany energy and incredible vocals as this timeless fairy tale is told wonderfully through song.


This new English language adaptation, presented by The Chilliwack Arts and Cultural Centre Society, is based on Engelbert Humperdinck’s full length opera and is sure to captivate viewers of all ages. With its fantastic set, stunning costumes, memorable music, fast-paced fun, comical characters and an incredible lively score, this is the perfect show to introduce young audiences and their families to the magic of opera.

The Vancouver Opera ensemble has been bringing Opera to young people for more than forty years, and their bewitching Hansel and Gretel carries on that tradition with a fresh new production of this classic children’s fable. The origin of the opera came about when Humperdinck’s sister proposed the idea of writing music for songs she had written her children based on "Hansel and Gretel". After several revisions, the musical sketches and the songs were fine turned into a full-scale opera.


This brand-new production features four energetic young opera singers, one nimble-fingered pianist, a gorgeous self-contained set and a full complement of dramatic costumes and props. The forty five minute long show will introduce young people and their families to the power, beauty and sheer fun of opera.


Young fans of Lemony Snickett and Edward Gorey will be charmed by the striking, Edwardian inspired set. “In the age of Harry Potter and Twilight, young people today appreciate a darker aesthetic,” explains Stage Director and Librettist Amiel Gladstone.  The Hansel and Gretel story: a struggling family living on the edge of a dark wood, inhabited by a witch or ogre creature who baits children with a candy house, seemed to be a perfect fit for today’s gothic style stories.


Kinza Tyrrell is the Music Director and Music Coordinator for the adaptation and is also Principal Répétiteur (coach for the singers throughout production rehearsals), and Music Director of Vancouver Opera In Schools, as well as Répétiteur and Assistant Conductor for Edmonton’s Opera Nuova (Newly United Operatic Vocalists Association).


Stage Director and Librettist for Hansel and Gretel, Amiel Gladstone, was also the stage director for Lucia di Lammermoor on Vancouver Opera’s main stage, and Vancouver Opera In Schools production of Jack Pine. His recent stage director credits include Ends of the Earth, with the Belfry Theatre and This with the Vancouver Playhouse. Amiel is also an active playwright and author of Hippies and Bolsheviks and Other Plays, which has been produced across Canada.


The Set and Costume Designer is Drew Facey, a two-time Jessie Award winner who has worked as a designer on more than 60 shows and was the set and costume designer for last season’s Vancouver Opera’s touring production, Cinderella.

Vancouver Opera’s touring program is the largest of its kind in Canada. In its forty seasons, it has enthralled more than one and a half million elementary school children and their families in communities throughout British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Washington State. This is an exciting opportunity to witness the incredible energy, sounds and spectacular visual beauty of opera.


Thank you to the generous sponsors for helping bring amazing talent to The Chilliwack Cultural Centre. The Platinum Sponsor for this show is Star FM. Our Bronze sponsors: Canada Safeway, KPMG, Bank of Montreal, Fortins Supply, Ritchie Bros., Sutton Group Showplace Realty. Media Sponsors: the Chilliwack Progress. To our Government Sponsors: the British Columbia Arts Council, The Province of British Columbia and the City of Chilliwack we thank you for your support.


Purchase your tickets early for Hansel and Gretel by calling the Centre Box Office at 604.391.SHOW(7469) or visit the friendly agents Monday-Friday 9:30am-9:00pm, Saturday & Sunday 9:30am-5:00pm. Tickets are also available online at




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