Assistant Arts and Entertainment Editor
The Troy Opera Workshop performed their rendition of “Hansel and Gretel” last weekend.
The surprise of this production was that Troy University had an opera workshop. It brought together some very talented students.
The audience was sizable, leaving just a few scattered seats open. There weren’t a lot of students there, however.
The set of the play was minimalistic, with a few props and a backdrop that consisted of candies and a slideshow. The slideshow showed relevant pictures to the songs that were being sung.
For example, there would be a picture of children dancing when Hansel and Gretel were dancing, or a picture of a forest when they were lost.
Some notable images were of an empty Wal-Mart shelf, which paid homage to recent accusations of the local Wal-Mart, and of the famous “Go to church or the devil will get you!” sign on I-65.
During the opera, the space of the room was utilized well. At one point, the father came singing from the back of the room, and the witch had her hands creeping in and out of the door when she started to sing.
The characters were all labeled by their t-shirts, which didn’t leave for any confusion and also modernized the work in its own way. The pianist, John Jinright, and the conductor, James Brown, had t-shirts labeling their positions as well.
The story stayed as true to fashion as possible given the allotted time, even with the simpler costumes.
Hansel and Gretel were played by students Amy Griffin and Carol Anne Osborne. They did a spectacular job effectively mixing dance, acting and singing into the performance.
There were a few humorous bits that were brought to the audience by Gretel herself. Her facial expressions set her performance apart.
The father, played by student Ben Strong, used Mountain Dew as an alcoholic beverage, making a moderately convincing burp that the audience seemed to really enjoy. All of the performers in the production performed very well in their roles.
The communication between the conductor and singers was quite good, and it showed. There weren’t any apparent hiccups throughout the entirety of the performance.
“I thought the singing was fantastic, but more money could’ve been put into the production,” said Christian Hardy, a freshman theater major from Alabaster.
The production was as good as it could be in the space they were given, and the work the performers put into the production was evident. They made it seem like a simple task and left the stage that night having given an incredible performance the audience is sure to remember.