Magazine article Opera Canada

Hansel Und Gretel. (Canada: Calgary)

Magazine article Opera Canada

Hansel Und Gretel. (Canada: Calgary)

Article excerpt

With a clever set designed by Terry Gunvordahl, effective, detailed stage direction by Elizabeth Bachman and generally fine singing from a well-chosen cast, Calgary Opera's production of Humperdinek's Hansel und Gretel played to near-full houses. Calgary moved to four performances for the year with this production, a welcome return to the level of activity of the early '80s and a sign of the generally warm support for opera in Canada's largest prairie city.

The production was particularly fortunate in its principals. Mariateresa Magisano (Gretel) has a clear-toned soprano that was girlish, but nonetheless carried easily to the back of the hail. She was well paired with Marianne Bindig (Hansel), who possesses an equally clear mezzo voice. Both singers were also effective dramatically, their actions admirably suited to the story and never fading into cloying kitsch.

Cheryl Hickman (the Mother and the Witch) was less over-the-top than some witches but still highly successful, her multifaceted evil qualities believable in context, her ringing soprano making its mark when necessary. It was a vocal luxury to have a baritone of Mark Pedrotti's calibre in the relatively minor part of the Father, but the production certainly benefited from his presence. …

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