UW-Platteville's Opera Workshop to present ‘Hansel and Gretel’

November 22, 2013

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Hansel and Gretel

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Platteville's Opera Workshop will present two performances of the opera “Hansel and Gretel” on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 11 a.m. and on Sunday, Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. in the Richard and Helen Brodbeck Concert Hall. Children and their parents are invited to join Hansel and Gretel and the rest of the opera cast for breakfast treats on Dec. 7 from 9:30-10:30 a.m.

“Hansel and Gretel,” a German opera written by 19th century composer Engelbert Humperdinck, will be directed by Dr. Susan Savage Day, director of the Opera Workshop and voice professor at UW-Platteville. The text of the opera is based on the Grimm brothers’ fairy tale.

Funded by a UW-Platteville Pioneer Center for Community Engagement grant, the opera performances will be in English and include guest performers from the Platteville Children's Choir.

The Opera Workshop will also perform scenes from the opera for and with the fourth and fifth grade students at Platteville Middle School and Cassville Public Elementary School on Thursday, Dec. 5 and Friday, Dec. 6.

These performances are part of Opera-2-Go, an outreach component of Opera Workshop that offers UW-Platteville students an opportunity to gain valuable guidance from experienced teachers in the field of vocal music education as they teach music, language and staging to grade school through high school students. Each year, Opera-2-Go brings opera to outlaying public schools in Wisconsin.

“This project unites the multi-disciplinary, creative resources of music, theatre and art education in a collaborative vehicle that gives Opera Workshop students a chance to work with seasoned community members who teach music, theatre and art and mentor their young students,” said Day. “This mentoring is instrumental in helping prepare our students for their future careers. The mentors teach our students, who in turn mentor their students and find ways to create a learning experience that is so fun and meaningful that the child will never forget it.”

“Music students have singing roles and will be teaching music and dance movements to the Platteville Children's Choir guest performers,” said Day. “Theatre students will design the set and lighting and work on costumes. And finally, an art education student will work with the fourth and fifth grade students from Platteville Middle School on life-size gingerbread cookie art projects that will be used for the performances. I believe this is collaboration at its finest.”

There are more than 35 UW-Platteville theatre, music and art students who are involved in the production as singers, actors, student lead teachers, art educators, stage managers, lighting designers, set constructors, painters, costumers, stage crew members and mentors for the younger children.

“Opera Workshop has the opportunity to bring an awareness of the variety of skills and talents that join together to create one performance,” said Day. “Music, dance, art, costume, set or lighting design and stage management all play a vital role in productions. We want to give young people a chance to discover new ways to express their creativity. It is important that they see people with a variety of skills working together as a team for the best collective result.”

Key faculty members from UW-Platteville’s Department of Performing and Visual Arts include Day; Rob Shepherd, pianist and music professor; Dr. Trey Davis, assistant director and music professor; Jeffery Strange, technical director, scenic designer and theatre professor; Barbara Westfall, art education director and art professor, and Sarah Strange, costume designer and theatre professor.

Contact: Dr. Susan Savage Day, Opera Workshop, Department of Performing and Visual Arts, (608) 342-1085, daysu@uwplatt.edu

Written by: Laurie Hamer, College of Liberal Arts and Education, (608) 342-6191, hamerl@uwplatt.edu

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