Christine Rice as Hansel, Robert Brubaker as the Witch, and Aleksandra Kurzak as Gretel in Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel.” Photo: Cory Weaver/Metropolitan Opera
Returning for the holidays, this season’s family entertainment is Richard Jones’s witty production of Humperdinck’s fairy-tale opera Hansel and Gretel conducted by Sir Andrew Davis, in which two children face off against a wicked witch. In a lush setting of giant chefs, suit-clad trees, and an industrial kitchen where the Witch gets what’s coming to her, Aleksandra Kurzak as Gretel and Christine Rice as Hansel lead a visual and delightful feast for our younger patrons.
Originally created for Welsh National Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago
Richard Jones’s “arresting… haunting” production stars Christine Rice as Hansel, whose voice is “bright and lean, her diction crisp and energetic.”
Aleksandra Kurzak as Gretel is “a veteran of this production whose slender tone has lately gotten subtly fuller… Their chemistry delightful, Ms. Rice and Ms. Kurzak danced, crept and cowered with ease, radiating sweetness without ever tipping over into sentimentality… The poignant moments of Humperdinck’s luminous score [are] conducted with a light, sensitive touch by Andrew Davis.” (New York Times)