Opera Scotland

Students tackle Hansel and Gretel

Posted 23 Jan 2022

One of the most cheering signs of the long hoped-for retreat of Covid-19 is the return to performance by the Glasgow-based students of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.  The choice fell on that distinctly serious folk-tale Hansel and Gretel, so often put on at Christmas.

It is a challenging piece for students.  The title roles - stroppy teenagers -  might seem tailored for young performers, but the vocal demands are substantial, near Wagnerian.  The parents, too, need big, dramatic voices. Finally there is the part of the Witch, who dominates the last act.  This character can be sung most obviously by a soprano or contralto.  However, as here, there is a well-established tradition for the part to be taken by a tenor - perhaps guaranteeing that the comedy will be made more obvious.

This staging, directed by the hugely-experienced Stephen Lawless, helps the students put on a convincing show, with superb sub-Wagnerian support from the student orchestra under newcomer Adam Hickox.

The last two (of four) performances are on Monday 24 and Wednesday 26 March.

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