Back in June, El Paso Opera controlling administrator Arianne Marcee and Justin Lucero, administrator of association assurance and the Young Artisan Program, were sitting in the opera’s little appointment abutting to the Plaza Theatre. They were aggravating to appear up with an opera that would be fun and altered for 2018.
And again afflatus struck.
“I watched Justin back he had his brainstorm. He chock-full talking, angry to his computer, looked up a few things, and angry about and said, ‘Hansel and Gretel,’” Marcee recalls. “Then he started to see the accomplished affair in his apperception – amphitheater in the annular with tables, specific singers, staging – and he declared it so able-bodied I could see it, too.”
From that moment to the aboriginal addendum of this weekend’s assembly at the Union Depot, the pieces of this achievement accept collapsed into abode with an about bewitched precision. “Now I can’t delay to see our opera’s ‘Hansel and Gretel’ appear alive,” Marcee added.
Neither can I!
Around the globe, “Hansel and Gretel” has been the opera world’s admired algidity production. The Grimm Brothers’ account of a candy-covered cottage with a albino white frosting roof is a winter classic. Written in 1891, it’s the best-known opera of Engelbert Humperdinck (1854-1921) – no affiliation to British accompanist Arnold Dorsey who absitively to name himself afterwards the German artisan in 1965.
Lucero’s abstraction makes the El Paso Opera’s “Hansel and Gretel” beginning and accessible. “We’ll accept a accustomed storyline, English lyrics instead of German with supertitles in both English and Spanish and low admission prices,” he says. Another additional for admirers associates who get afraid with continued shows: This opera will be aloof 90 account long.
Adding to that accessibility is the avant-garde area – El Paso’s Union Depot congenital in 1906 by the aforementioned artisan who advised the behemothic Union Station in Washington, D.C. The architecture is now home to the Texas Tech University College of Architecture affairs in El Paso. The academy is co-presenting “Hansel and Gretel,” a affiliation that makes acceptable sense.
Lucero loves the location. “We capital to use a admirable abode that we don’t necessarily accessory with opera,” he says. “Opera doesn’t accept to consistently be on a date in a big concert hall.”
Once the opera was set, their abutting claiming was addition out a smaller-scale production. On a whim and a wish, they accomplished out to the abettor of the acclaimed opera aqueduct Kathleen Kelley, who had orchestrated and conducted a alcove music adaptation of “Hansel and Gretel” for the Houston Opera.
Remarkably, Kelley had a two-week window afore she had to acknowledgment to Ann Arbor area she teaches at the University of Michigan. “She had formed with Cherry Duke afore and was blessed to appear to El Paso,” Lucero says. “She jumped at the chance, and she has been amazing to assignment with.”
When I watched Lucero and Kelley assignment with our singers during call aftermost week, I acquainted like I was seeing a absolute aggregation of talent. Mezzo-soprano Cherry Duke, UTEP administrator of opera and articulation administration adroitness member, is Hansel (traditionally articulate by a woman). Duke is reprising her acclaimed bedfellow artisan appearances as Hansel with added opera companies about the country.
Soprano Kellie Rumba Rattay, El Paso Opera’s accomplished aesthetic advisor, plays Gretel. Elisa Wilson, accessory assistant of choral music and articulation at UTEP, is beautifully alarming as both Hansel and Gretel’s mother and the witch.
We’ll additionally get to see three of the El Paso Opera’s Young Artists – Jamille Brewster, Brittany Michaelsen-Mulkey and Mariana Sandoval – on stage, forth with associates of the Youth Opera of El Paso and a bounded children’s ballet group. The bounded accent continues with the alcove music group. Six associates of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra will accomplish Humperdinck’s abundant and adventurous score: Stephanie Meyers, aboriginal violin and concertmaster; Stephen Nordstrom, additional violin; Susan Hernandez, viola; Michael Way, cello; David Ross, clarinet; and John Graves, French horn. Lisa Guile will comedy the canal and on piano will be the accomplished Guillermo Gutierrez.
The appropriate bodies additionally include, of course, the opera’s leadership. They’ve consistently had agog and amorous lath associates and supporters like Gloria Lavis, Helen Mott, Wilma Salzman, and Sara and Robert Shiloff. Stacy Hunt Spier, accepted lath chair, brings a new activity and adherence that is additionally aloof admirable to see.
The alignment is additionally benefitting from Lucero’s and Marcee’s talent. Afore acceptable the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Fellow in Directing with the University of Houston’s Academy of Theatre and Dance, Lucero was our opera’s citizen date administrator for six seasons and has all-encompassing acquaintance as a administrator throughout the region. Marcee’s BBA and MBA degrees from Texas A&M, accumulated with her acquaintance in nonprofits, accord her the business accomplishments bare to abound the opera into its 25th season.
The El Paso Opera’s first-ever assembly of “Hansel and Gretel” will be a not-to-be-missed experience. It will be so fun to watch the activity and see all the facial expressions up abutting from the tables of 10 that will beleaguer the axial stage.
Just think: nationally accepted opera singers, acclaimed conductor, National Register of Historic Places venue, best-of-the-best musicians arena a candied and admirable account and a accustomed bogie account that will amuse the adolescent in anniversary of us. And while we see a cottage fabricated of bonbon booty appearance on stage, we can adore a candied amusement at our table: a cupcake and a bottle of sparkling cider or wine. Too fun!
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