June 02, 2021

A sweet escape

An up-close look at Hansel & Gretel in the Park

Hansel & Gretel in the Park is an operatic adventure through the woods, perfect for audiences of all ages. This abbreviated English-language version of Humperdinck's beloved opera, Hansel and Gretel, takes place in the Walking Stick Woods at Chicago's beautiful North Park Village Nature Center. Here is a first look at this interactive production, directed by Matthew Ozawa with sets and costumes by Scott Marr, and featuring two casts comprised of members of the Lyric Opera Chorus and members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra.

Hansel (mezzo-soprano Corinne Wallace-Crane) and Gretel (soprano Desiree Hassler) avoid their chores while their parents are away. (Gingerbread Cast)

Father, a broom-maker (bass Kenneth Nichols), returns home with food following a sucessful sale, and celebrates with Mother (mezzo-soprano Pamela Williams). (Cupcake Cast)

Lost and hungry, Hansel (mezzo-soprano Maia Surace) and Gretel (soprano Katelyn Lee) fall asleep in the woods under the spell of the Sandman (mezzo-soprano Marie Sokolova). (Cupcake Cast)

The Dew Fairy (soprano Sherry Watkins) wakes the children from their slumber. (Gingerbread Cast)

Upon waking, the children stumble upon a candy-covered gingerbread house, and meet the devious Witch (tenor Hoss Brock) who plans to turn Hansel and Gretel into gingerbread children and eat them! (Gingerbread Cast)

The Witch (tenor John J. Concepcion) prepares for a feast while Gretel (Lee) attempts to free her brother Hansel (Surace). (Cupcake Cast)

Hansel and Gretel save the day by shoving the Witch into her own oven, freeing all of the gingerbread children from her spell. The children reunite with their parents and they all live happily ever after. (Cupcake Cast)

Header photo: The Sandman (Emma Sorenson) sneaks up on Hansel (Corinne Wallace-Crane) and Gretel (Desirée Hassler) in the woods. (Cast A) Credit: Robert Kusel

All other photos: Robert Kusel