Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-09-17
Download Issue
  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

Autumn classics and revivals and how to tell the difference Autumn classics and revivals and how to tell the difference
The word "classic" is tossed around pretty casually these days—indeed, it's not ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times    Download PDF Issue

OPERA REVIEW Hansel und Gretel
by Scott C. Morgan, Windy City Times
2013-01-02

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


Score: Engelbert Humperdinck; Libretto: Adelheid Wette. At: Lyric Opera of Chicago, 20 N. Wacker Dr. Tickets: 312-332-2244 or www.lyricopera.org; $34-$239. Runs through: Jan. 19

It took the Lyric Opera of Chicago an unconscionable 47 years to finally produce Hänsel und Gretel. Engelbert Humperdinck's classic 1893 opera finally made it to the Lyric in 2001 via an Olivier Award-winning co-production directed by Richard Jones and commissioned by then Welsh National Opera general director Anthony Freud.

Twelve years later for Hänsel und Gretel's first Lyric revival, Freud is now general director of the esteemed Chicago company and Jones' take on Humperdinck's masterwork has also become the version of choice for New York's Metropolitan Opera (albeit in an aggrandized and slightly softened 2007 production that made the dream pantomime chefs more cherubic than creepy).

The Lyric return of Hänsel und Gretel was perfectly timed to coincide with last year's 200th anniversary of the Grimm Brothers' first publication of Kinder und Hausmärchen (Children and Household Tales), which helped popularize this dark folk tale of starvation and cannibalism. And Jones' production once again shows its dark brilliance with often scary and surreal hunger-inspired imagery (starkly and ruddily dreamed up by production designer John MacFarlane) mixed with plenty of food-splattering humor in the Witch's oversize industrial kitchen.

This time around, Eric Einhorn has been enlisted as stage director, and the cast is truly top-notch.

As the respective title siblings, Ryan Opera Center alums Elizabeth DeShong and Maria Kanyova cavort around convincingly as naughty kids while also showing off powerful voices that can cut through the romantic and thick Wagner-inspired orchestration.

As the siblings' parents, Julie Makerov's short-tempered Mother is appropriately agitated, while Brian Mulligan's jovial and drunkard Father shows a physically violent dark side. Also of vocally bright and brief note are soprano Emily Birsan as the Sandman (returning here in puppet form) and soprano Kiri Deonarine as the 1950s platinum-blond and perfect housewife-inspired Dew Fairy.

Both DeShong and Kanyova's Hänsel and Gretel more than meet their match in the Witch of Jill Grove, who takes on extra layers of padding and prosthetics to appear as a rolly-polly Granny with a demented TV chef personality (quite a comic change from her depraved and powerfully sung Klytämnestra in Elektra earlier this season).

Conductor Ward Stare leads a beautifully majestic take on the score, which is only enhanced at the end by the rescued gingerbread children sung by members of ANIMA—Young Singers of Greater Chicago.

If there is one complaint, the lighting of designer Jennifer Tipton is too dark in the Act II forest scene. But then again, this production appropriately reinjects plenty of the Grimm Brothers' dark horror that was made less menacing in its Victorian-era libretto.

Far from being candy-coated like many typical productions, the Lyric's production certainly has a sharp and smart bite.


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily
agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here.
Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you
stay on this page, the more you help us.

About Face Theatre presents Black and Tan Supper Club 2014-09-17
FALL THEATER SPECIAL Cornucopia of dance headed Chicago's way 2014-09-17
The show must go on: A season of musicals and operas is coming 2014-09-17
DOUBLE REVIEW Isaac's Eye; Death Tax 2014-09-17
THEATER REVIEW The Midnight City 2014-09-17
Miracles in the Fall 2014-09-17
Shakespeare's Anthony and Cleopatra: UNDONE 2014-09-17
Autumn classics and revivals and how to tell the difference 2014-09-17
FALL THEATER SPECIAL Autumn premieres 2014-09-17
NUNN ON ONE: THEATER Ryan Czerwonko's 'Dead' reckoning 2014-09-17
NUNN ON ONE: THEATER Josh Young: 'Grace' under pressure 2014-09-17
Theater spotlight and Critics' Picks 2014-09-17
THEATER NEWS 2014-09-17
Gay music legend dies; O'Donnell on Boomer List; Staples honored 2014-09-17
ENTERTAINMENT NOTES Performances, appearances and releases 2014-09-17
MUSIC Mikey Wax, Brendan James fill SPACE 2014-09-16
MUSICAL ROUNDUP 'Mud' about Riot Fest 2014-09-16
Lea Delaria, Artemis at Lakeside Pride Women in Music Nov. 16 2014-09-15
Words or Music? Renee Fleming & Mark Strand 2014-09-12
Over the Rainbow Gilda's benefit at Sidetrack Nov. 12 2014-09-11
October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard on stage Oct. 9 2014-09-11
Harris Theater, Lyric Opera partner for Beyond the Aria series 2014-09-10
About Face Theatre presents Black and Tan Supper Club 2014-09-10
Illinois Humanities Council event focuses on drag 2014-09-10
THEATER REVIEW Ecstasy 2014-09-09
THEATER REVIEW The Whaleship Essex 2014-09-09
MUSIC Sinead O' Connor isn't bossy, she's the boss 2014-09-09
Trans* activist Jones headlines release party 2014-09-09
Music news: Barbra, Blige and more 2014-09-09
NUNN ON ONE: MUSIC Colbie Caillat gives music a new 'Try' 2014-09-09
THEATER REVIEW The Coward 2014-09-09
THEATER REVIEW The Game's Afoot 2014-09-09
Theater spotlight and Critics' Picks 2014-09-09
MUSIC Billy Bragg's a real riot, talks 'Sexuality' 2014-09-09
Streisand Channel, Neil Patrick weds, Sam Smith does 'Fast Car' 2014-09-09
Alan Cumming in Conversation Oct. 13 at Music Box 2014-09-08
Chita Rivera Moraine Valley Community College Sept. 27 2014-09-05
Malinowski new director of Lakeside's shhh...OUT! 2014-09-05
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Almodovar adaptation 2014-09-03
THEATER REVIEW The Yellow Wallpaper 2014-09-03





Copyright © 2014 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 



 

Trans* woman claims self-defense in case
 
REELING FILM FESTIVAL Max Adler of 'Glee' runs amok in Saugatuck
 
Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame selects next inductees
 
Mother of Eisha Love: Heartbreak and courage
 
Veterans Health Administration opens doors to LGBT vets
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now



  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.