‘Hansel And Gretel’ Gets Modern Face In La Crosse Opera Production

March 7, 2019

Engelbert Humperdinck’s classic 1890s opera “Hansel and Gretel” has been a favorite at Viterbo University, coming to the stage there half a dozen times in the past 25 years. It’s a favorite for good reason, according to Stephanie Harter Campbell, who is directing this weekend’s production.

“It’s a really good choice for our students because it’s accessible and the music is so beautiful and fun,” Harter Campbell said.

“Hansel and Gretel” is based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale about two somewhat strong-headed and rebellious young siblings who wander off into the haunted forest and are lured into the clutches of the Gingerbread Witch by her enticingly edible house.

But Harter Campbell, who directed the La Crosse Community Theatre’s production of “Mamma Mia,” wanted to try something different with this staging. As she contemplated setting the opera in the present, she asked herself what form the threat to Hansel and Gretel would take in 2019.

“What does a witch look like in 2019?” Harter Campbell wondered. “Who is eating up children and using them as a commodity?”

To read the full story by Randy Erickson on the La Crosse Tribune: Click Here

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