HIGH POINT, N.C., Oct. 29, 2013 – Laughing, gasping and lots of singing echoed through Hayworth Fine Arts Center this morning as High Point University’s music department put on the first of two performances of the children’s opera, “Hansel and Gretel,” for students from Montlieu Academy of Technology. The second performance will be held tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. in Hayworth Fine Arts Center for students from Johnson Street Global Studies, New Garden Friends School and Wesleyan Christian Academy. Media are invited to attend.
The audience laughed as Hansel and Gretel bickered, looked around for the witch when the brother and sister were in the woods and jumped when new characters came in from off stage.
“The children were very involved in the performance, which was wonderful,” said senior Ariel Gariepy who played Gretel.
“It was a really rewarding experience to give them their first opera,” added sophomore Allyson Goff who played Hansel. “After this, they could really grow to love opera.”
The excitement of the performance spilled out into the hallway as the actors greeted the elementary students as they filed out to go back to school. They shared hugs, high fives and the third and fourth graders told the actors all of their favorite parts of the performance.
“I’m so proud we were able to give them a real opera,” said Scott MacLeod, assistant professor of music. “Some children’s operas can be silly, but we took a real opera and turned it into something that children can understand and enjoy.”
This is the first time the HPU music department has produced a fully staged opera.