A musical telling of Grimm’s classic tale

Kids’ get full production value in Vancouver Opera performance

Caroline Jang performs Gretel alongside Sylvia Szadovski

Hansel and Gretel emerge from the woods and enter the industrial revolution in Kaleidoscope Theatre’s latest offering in its family theatre series.

The touring production, by Vancouver Opera, introduces song to the classic German tale, first recorded by the Brothers Grimm.

This adaptation is geared for five- to 12-year-olds. It is 45 minutes in length and sung in English.

Unlike many Grimm adaptations, however, it has not been “Disneyfied,” said Kaleidoscope’s artistic associate, Patrick Rundell.

The opera’s foreboding esthetic, created by a set of mechanical gears, aims to tap into kids’ current fascination with dark tales such as Harry Potter and Twilight.

“It has full production value, full sets, full costumes, lavish props,” Rundell said. “It’s the perfect introduction to the style of opera for children.”

Kaleidoscope Theatre has been presenting a family theatre series every January through April for more than 15 years, with sponsorship from Thrifty Foods.

“We’re bringing in different arts from across Canada that other kids might not get a chance to necessarily get a chance to see,” said Rundell. “It’s really important for children to see these shows because it really allows them to see different styles of theatre and also different classic stories. These age groups, these children, are our future artists, they are our future arts patrons. … We we really want to invest in them and give them these quality, professional experiences.”

Hansel and Gretel runs at the Metro Studio Theatre, 1411 Quadra St., on Sunday, Feb. 19th,  at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased through the Royal McPherson Box Office (250-386-6121) for $28.25 for adults and $20.50 for children and seniors.

Upcoming shows in the family series are Erewhon Theatre’s The Wizard of Oz (March 4), and Dufflebag Theatre’s The Three Musketeers (April 15).



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