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  • Hansel und Gretel

Opera at USC opens the season with Hänsel und Gretel

Folk tune-inspired music and a special guest bring the Grimm Brothers classic to life Nov. 7–9

A fairy-tale opera based on the Brothers Grimm classic, this beloved fable cooks up folk tune-inspired music into a deliciously German confection that has delighted families for generations. Three performances take place at Drayton Theatre on the USC Columbia campus. Friday and Saturday night shows on November 7 and 8 take place at 7:30 p.m., and a Sunday matinee on November 9 takes place at 3:00 p.m. All performances are sung in German.

The idea for the opera was proposed to 19th-century composer Engelbert Humperdinck by his sister, who approached him about writing music for songs that she had written for her children for Christmas based on "Hansel and Gretel." After several revisions, the musical sketches and songs were turned into a full-scale opera composed between 1891 and 1892.

Special guest, soprano Lori Celeste Hicks, voice faculty at Claflin University and active recitalist and concert performer, plays the Witch. Hicks has performed internationally and throughout the U.S., and made her much-anticipated Carnegie Hall debut in 2011, singing Robert Ray’s Gospel Mass with Mid America Productions.

Madeline Beitel, graduating this year with a Master of Music, plays Hänsel and senior music student Anna Young plays Gretel. Also in the production are USC student Kelsey L. Kish and alumnae Dr. Jolene Flory as Mother, and USC students Nicholas Hawkins and John Siarris as Father, Kayla Fore as Sandman and Brittany Stone as Dew Fairy.

A dozen children from Lexington, Columbia and Blythewood, all of which have gained experience through community programs at USC, join Opera at USC students for the production.

Ellen Douglas Schlaefer directs Opera at USC. Neil Casey conducts USC’s Campus Orchestra and musical preparation by Dr. Lynn Kompass.

General admission tickets $25; seniors, USC faculty/staff and military $20; $7 students. Purchase online or call 803-777-5369.

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