Whistle Stop Opera: Hansel and Gretel

Published: 15 August 2020
Reporter: Peter Lathan

Photograph from the 2017 production of Whistle Stop Opera: Hansel and Gretel

Opera North’s Whistle Stop Opera Hansel and Gretel will be visiting venues in the North East this month.

Devised and directed by John Savournin for four singers and accordion, Whistle Stop Opera: Hansel and Gretel is a 40-minute performance using excerpts from Humperdinck’s opera to retell the fairy tale of two hungry children, lost in the woods, and a gingerbread cottage that hides a scary secret.

It will be performed in a range of outdoor settings across the North of England in August and September, with social distancing in place for audience members and performers and limited numbers of tickets on sale in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines. Tickets will be on sale for ‘pods’ of up to five people, with each space including two seats and a floor mat. The performance is suitable both for adults and for family audiences.

The performers are Laura Kelly-McInroy (Jennie Hildebrand in Street Scene, 2020) as Hansel, Jennifer Clark (Flora in The Turn of the Screw, 2020) as Gretel, Claire Pascoe (Emma Jones in Street Scene, 2020, and Witch in Into the Woods, 2016) as Mother / Witch and John Savournin (Carl Olsen in Street Scene, 2020 and Priest Fotisin The Greek Passion, 2019) as Narrator / Sandman. The accordionist is Miloš Milivojević.

The North East venues are:

  • Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, on 20 August at 1:00 and 3:00PM
  • Ushaw House, Durham, on 22 August at 1:00 and 3:00
  • Allendale Village Hall, Hexham, on 25 August at 6:30PM