Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Opera: Gingerbread Terror Strikes New Zealand

Opera: Gingerbread Terror Strikes New Zealand

Hansel and Gretel review Kevin List - Images courtesy Adrian Malloch.

Click for big version
Anna Pierard-Hansel, Helen Medlyn-Witch, Ana James-Gretel


As something of an Opera expert after enjoying La Boheme a few months back it came as something of a shock that Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel was sung in English. Granted it took a few minutes to actually work out the famed childrens' fairy tale was in English but yeah, and verily it was so.

The first part of the Hansel and Gretel experience was probably the only part that slightly grated. In this part we meet the young troopers who are ready to have a wander in the wild woods and their grumpy mother and alcoholic dad. The action is set in a sparse futuristic set with what looks like shower curtain utilised as a barrier between the children's house and outside. The strange Beehive hairdo on the Mother is also a bit off-putting.

However, after this its pretty much full speed ahead to fairy tale land with each of the remaining sets and lighting proving well worth the price of admission alone.

For this reveiewer the hi-light would have been the spooky arrival of the dew-fairy a benevolent fairy godmother type who floats in on the moonlight mysteriously swathed in rags. The Opera switches also to a more ethereal dreamy state for this interlude as well.

Click for big version
Helen Medlyn the wicked witch


Later on we have a magnificent array of giant hardboiled sweets and the gingerbread making witches arrival along with Edward Scissor-hand like talons. In the background is a blazing furnace ready to bake a couple of real gingerbread children.

It would be churlish to spoil the ending of the story – suffice to say there are no Frederick Forsyth like unexpected plot twists.

On the night this reviewer went there were quite a few children – which was lucky as my screams of terror at being baked by the mean old witch were probably drowned out by the young uns' whimpering.

Click for big version
Barbara Paterson The nice Dew Fairy


The visual and aural feast that was served up at the Opera House in Wellington is on tour throughout New Zealand over July and August

More details and dates

  • Opera takes to the road with Hansel and Gretel
  • ENDS

    © Scoop Media

    Top Scoops Headlines


    Scoop HiveMind Project: Universal Basic Income - Are We Up For It?

    This is an opportunity for you as one of the 4 million potential funders and recipients of a Universal Basic Income to collectively consider the issue:
    1. Is UBI is a desirable policy for New Zealand; and
    2. How should a UBI system work in practice. More>>


    Lyndon Hood: National Announces Plan To Hit Youth With Big Mallets

    The National party has announced its youth justice policy, which includes a controversial plan for recidivist serious youth offenders to be hit over the head with a comically large rubber mallet. More>>


    Lyndon Hood: This ->

    It's been brought to my attention that Labour's new campaign slogan is "Let's do this". A collective call to action. A mission. I myself was halfway out of the couch before I realised I wasn't sure what it was I was supposed to do. More>>


    Scoop Hivemind Report: What New Zealanders Think About Affordable Housing

    Ordinary citizens have had very few venues where they can debate and discuss as to what they believe has led to the crisis in affordable housing and how we might begin to address this. The HiveMind on affordable housing was about redressing the balance. More>>


    New Hivemind Exploration: Opening The Election - Freshwater Quality

    This is an opportunity for you as one of the 4 million guardians of our common water resources to help us find mutually agreeable solutions to the critical task of collectively managing these resources for health and sustainability. More>>