SDSU Opera Presents "Hansel and Gretel" with Free Tickets for Students

February 28, 2024
Student performers rehearse ahead of Hansel and Gretel's opening on March 7.
Student performers rehearse ahead of Hansel and Gretel's opening on March 7.

San Diego State University Opera presents Hansel and Gretel, performing March 7-10

“Whether you are a seasoned opera aficionado, a casual opera-goer, or new to the opera scene, there is something in this opera for you,” director of San Diego State University’s Hansel and Gretel, Travis Sherwood, said.

Hansel and Gretel, by Engelbert Humperdinck, is a retelling of the classic Brothers Grimm fairytale scored with soaring vocal writing and lush romantic orchestration. This production features promising young artists from the SDSU School of Music and Dance Voice Area, the SDSU Symphony Orchestra, and The San Diego Children’s Choir.

“It is going to be a very fun, magical fairy tale, with spells, a scary witch, and chilling performances from our music students here at SDSU,” said junior vocal performance major Cerah Rodriguez. 

“I am most excited about everyone being able to enjoy all the love and hard work everyone has put into this whole process. It is a family and kid-friendly show. We are also very excited to have the San Diego Children's Choir as a part of the Opera ensemble,” she said.

While the story of Hansel and Gretel is a classic that many will enter the theater already having heard, Sherwood is excited to take on a well-known piece.

“I’d like to think of the familiarity many people have with the wealth of adaptations of the Grimm Brothers fairytale as an opportunity rather than a challenge,” Sherwood said. “It is always fun to reimagine familiar storylines. The popularity of this tale also provides a plethora of resources for character research and inspiration. 

We’re striving to provide the audience with some of the key story elements they are likely expecting, and a few surprises,” he said.

Productions by the School of Music and Dance, like Hansel and Gretel, allow students performance experiences on campus, alongside and in front of their peers.

“A collegiate rehearsal process should be just like a professional rehearsal process but with more time for growth and experimentation,” Sherwood said.

“I have seen all the students grow throughout this process. Witnessing student growth throughout a rehearsal process is truly one of the most rewarding aspects of my job. I am constantly inspired by my students,” he said.

Sherwood continued, “The students singing the roles of Hansel and Gretel have the heaviest lift in this opera. These title roles rarely leave the stage. I sincerely applaud these young artists for their commitment and stamina to carry this opera.”

Sherwood shared he is eager for audiences to hear the student’s voices and orchestra while viewing cinematic projections, lighting, set, and costumes on stage.

“I’m most excited for the audiences to see young artists passionately throw themselves into the historic and cherished art form of opera,” he said.

Hansel and Gretel premieres at SDSU’s Mainstage Theatre on March 7-9 at 7 p.m. and March 10 at 2 p.m. Tickets are free for students. All other tickets can be purchased through the PSFA website at $15 for the general public and $10 for faculty/staff, senior citizens, and military personnel.

Hansel and Gretel is sponsored by SDSU Student Affairs and a Campus Diversity Student Success Fee.

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