April 05, 2011
Photo by Jill Gable
On Friday, April 1, and Saturday, April 2, the Tiedtke Concert Hall transformed into Winter Park’s premier opera house. Presented by the Rollins Department of Music, this outstanding production of Engelbert Humperdinck’s classic opera Hansel & Gretel featured two separate casts of talented student vocalist as well as an orchestra comprised of students, faculty and community musicians. Rumored to be the most expensive production ever put on by the Department of Music, Hansel & Gretel was the result of the Department’s first-ever attempt at putting on a full-length opera.
Each cast achieved acclaimed performances, receiving uproarious applause and standing ovations. Several cast members stood out among their peers; however, Laura Knowles (Class of 2011) stole the show as the Witch. “Laura was absolutely fantastic,” said Greta Sandy (Class of 2014), following the performance on Saturday, April 2. “Her voice was powerfully captivating.”
The student performers’ ability to demonstrate operatic virtuosity is a nod to the musical direction of Julia Foster, assistant professor of music, who also acted as the opera’s producer. Additionally, under the stage direction of Kevin Gray, visiting assistant professor of theatre and dance, the cast moved about the stage with purpose and enthusiasm.
Conducted by John Sinclair, chair of the Department of Music, the orchestra brought Humperdinck’s sumptuous melodies to life.
“Putting on this full-length opera took intense dedication and determination,” said Jenna Doulong (Class of 2013), who played the role of Hansel in both casts. “The elaborate qualities of the music really stretched me as a musician. I am extremely proud to have been part of such a magical experience.”
Hansel & Gretel was indeed magical. Topping off the complete sensory experience, an elaborate and colorful set designed by D.R. Mattson complimented authentic and extravagant costumes designed by Janet de Guehery.
View more upcoming events from the Department of Music.
By Justin Braun (Class of 2011MBA)
Office of Public Relations & Community Affairs
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