In honor of Hudson’s 20th Winter Walk, Diamond Opera Theater and Hudson Opera House are presenting again this year the beloved opera for children, Hansel & Gretel. Two performances are scheduled: on Friday, December 2, at 6:00 and on Saturday, December 3 (Winter Walk Day), at 2:30. Both will be at Christ Church Episcopal, Courthouse Square and Union Street.
The opera, sung in English, is by Engelbert Humperdinck--not the rock star, but the 19th-century German composer. It is based on the classic fairy tale of two children lost in the woods, who encounter a witch living in a gingerbread cottage. She is determined to turn the children into gingerbread cookies, and the opera tells how they outwit her evil scheme. Lovely melodies and lively action bring the old tale to life.
All the singers are professionals who have worked in the US and Europe. Hudson's favorite mezzo-soprano, Mary Hack sings the wicked, charming, outrageous Witch. Hack also directs the production. Emilia Donato, last year’s sparkling Dew Fairy, will bring Gretel to life. Her stalwart brother, Hansel, will be sung by a newcomer to Diamond Opera, Ariana Stultz. Nina Dante will make her Hudson debut in the double role of Sandman/Dew Fairy. Music director Noah Palmer will once again accompany the production on the piano.
A wine and cheese reception with the singers follows the Friday performance. A donation of $10 is requested from adults; admission is free for children. On Saturday, all ages are welcomed for free. It will be a festive kick-off for the biggest, best Winter Walk yet, but sadly, for fans of Diamond Opera Theater, it will be the company's last production.