Opera Steamboat’s Opera Artist Institute presents ‘Hansel and Gretel’ | SteamboatToday.com

Opera Steamboat’s Opera Artist Institute presents ‘Hansel and Gretel’

Christina Hazen and Brianna Meese star in Opera Steamboat’s production of “Hansel and Gretel” by Engelbert Humperdinck. The family-friendly opera is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 13, at Steamboat Christian Center, at 821 Dougherty Road.
courtesy of Opera Steamboat

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — All over Steamboat Springs, there’s opera in the air.

This week marks the final week of Opera Steamboat’s 2019 Summer Festival. Since July 23, artists of opera from across the country and world have been working together in Steamboat to put on a trio of performances. 

These artists will bring Engelbert Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel” to life for its final run at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 13. Of the festival’s three productions, this one is the most family-friendly, built for adults and young children alike. Its bones are of the same fairy tale you’ve heard a dozen times, but with its shape in music and the additions of a Dew Fairy, Sandman and squad of gingerbread children, its form is a new experience.

“And in our version of the story, the stepmother is a lot nicer,” added Opera Steamboat Executive Director Melodie Querry. 

This production of “Hansel and Gretel” is accessible, fun, easily digestible — “a good way to get your feet wet, for someone who’s thinking about going to an opera but not quite sure,” Opera Steamboat trustee Melissa Hampton said.

It’s for adults and children alike. At the end of the show, the artists invite all the children in the audience up on stage to dance. 

“A lot of people have this idea that opera is just stuffy and boring and for really old people,” Querry said. “I want everyone to see that opera is for everyone, for every generation.” 

The production is directed by Brian Luedloff and conducted by Joseph Turbessi, with an additional production staff of eight. The cast of the opera is represented by Opera Steamboat’s Opera Artist Institute, a program for young emerging artists who’ve been selected, after auditions in four locations across the U.S., by Opera Steamboat’s Artistic Director Andres Cladera.

If you go

What: Opera Steamboat presents ‘Hansel and Gretel’
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 13
Where: Steamboat Christian Center, 821 Dougherty Road
Tickets: Adults, $25; students, $10; youth younger than 12, $5.
More information: operasteamboat.org

This season, the institute hosts 36 aspiring professionals — its highest number yet. The month-long program includes concerts, recitals, coaching, master classes and chorus rehearsal. 

“The young artists have been amazing,” Querry said. “They have such a high level of energy, and they’re so into what they’re doing. And it’s not just hard work; they’re having fun, too.”

“These folks are going to be on the stages of Milan and headlining at metropolitan operas,” Hampton said. “Voices take a long time to grow up. They’re all in their 20s and 30s, now, starting to get roles. Here, you get to see them first.”

The weekend rounds out the Summer Festival’s productions with “Frida” on Friday, Aug. 16, and “Rusalka” on Saturday, Aug. 17.

Julia Ben-Asher is a contributing writer for Steamboat Pilot & Today.

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