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<<  -- 3 --  Maria Nockin    SQUEALS OF DELIGHT

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The undisputed star of the production was Graham Clark as the Witch. In his pink tutu and tights he danced around the children, pranced up the stairs and rode his two-story high lollypop pole down. He also flew across the sky on his broomstick making deliciously menacing gestures all the while. He has a rough sounding tenor voice, but that worked fine in this part.

Graham Clark as the witch. Photo © 2006 Robert Millard
Graham Clark as the witch. Photo © 2006 Robert Millard

The most beautiful singing of the evening came from sopranos Christine Brandes and Stacey Tappan as the Sand Man and the Dew Fairy. Although their costumes restricted their movements, they sang with well-shaped phrases and ringing tones. Conductor Alan Gilbert emphasized the romantic aspects of this quasi-Wagnerian score. He seemed to relish the orchestration, bringing out many interesting details, only once or twice overpowering a singer.

Maria Kanyova (Gretel), Lucy Schaufer (Hansel) and the LA Children's Chorus. Photo © 2006 Robert Millard
Maria Kanyova (Gretel), Lucy Schaufer (Hansel) and the LA Children's Chorus. Photo © 2006 Robert Millard

The Los Angeles Children's Chorus was not as strong voiced as one would have liked, but its members acquitted themselves well on stage. Taken as a whole, this was a wonderfully put together performance of this opera. The production was updated enough to make it relevant to our time, but the magic was still there and, at its end, the applause was punctuated by squeals of delight from the many children in attendance.

Copyright © 9 December 2006 Maria Nockin, Arizona USA

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LOS ANGELES OPERA

'HANSEL AND GRETEL' AT LONGBOROUGH FESTIVAL OPERA

'HANSEL AND GRETEL' IN CLEVELAND

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