Humperdinck's Beloved Opera "Hansel And Gretel" To Be Performed By New World School Of The Arts'...

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3/20/07

Humperdinck's Beloved Opera "Hansel And Gretel" To Be Performed By New World School Of The Arts' College Opera Ensemble In Two-Day Showcase Performance, Friday And Saturday, March 30 And 31 At Miami's Gusman Center For The Performing Arts

MIAMI---Humperdinck’s opera masterpiece Hänsel & Gretel, with all of the elements of the original fairy tale…hunger, poverty, desperation, and a happy ending…but, as conceived by director Jeff Buchman in the setting of the Depression Era, will be presented by the New World School of the Arts’ College Opera Theatre Ensemble, Friday, March 30 and Saturday, March 31 at 7:30 P.M. at Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, in downtown Miami.

Hänsel and Gretel, a musical tale about a brother and sister, was born in the 1890’s from a collaborative endeavor between German siblings Engelbert Humperdinck and Adelheid Wette. After writing a libretto based on the Grimm fairy tale, Wette asked her brother to set it to music as a Christmas entertainment for her children. The modest home venture developed into a full-scale opera premiering under the direction of Richard Strauss, on December 23, 1893 in Weimar, Germany.

Featuring a company of NWSA’s outstanding college opera students, Buchman declares “there are some important differences between the original Grimm fairy tale and the Humperdinck setting of the story. To me, one of the most unfortunate omissions in the opera is the mother's intent to free herself from the burden of these children by leading them into the woods and abandoning them so that they either survive by fending for themselves, or they die; but in either case, they no longer are a burden to the mother. This act of infanticide that is clearly present in the original Grimm tale is one that mothers contemplated and acted on as well during the most trying times of the Depression Era, and one that mothers continue to make today, either because they find themselves impoverished and desperate with nowhere else to turn, or merely for selfish reasons.”

In an effort to bring his point of view to the forefront, Buchman introduces a third and youngest child to the family turning this classic production into "a fantastic journey from despair and disillusionment to hope and redemption".

Buchman has sung major roles with the countries leading regional opera companies. His repertoire includes the title role in “Don Giovani II,” Figaro in “Barbiere di Siviglia,” Marcello in “La Boheme,” Silvio in “I Pagliacci” and Valentin in “Faust” After winning the Pavarotti International Voice Competition, Mr. Buchman was invited by Luciano Pavarotti to appear on Pavarotti Plus with him. Buchman earned his Master in Music and Voice degrees from the Peabody Conservatory of Music and has honored NWSA with his work since 2000.

Gusman Center for the Performing Arts is located at 174 East Flagler Street, downtown, Miami. Tickets are $16 for adults, $8 for students and seniors. For tickets and information, visit, or contact the Music Hotline at 305-237-7855.

New World School of the Arts was created by the Florida Legislature as a center of excellence in the performing and visual arts, is an educational partnership of Miami Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College and the University of Florida.

PHOTO CAPTION: Top: Cathy Spitzer (Gretel); Bottom: Heather Galladgher (Hansel).

 
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