Brooklyn, NY — The Brooklyn College Chamber Opera will perform Engelbert Humperdinck’s holiday favorite, Hansel and Gretel. Singers from the Conservatory of Music of Brooklyn College will present the opera at Brooklyn College’s Sam Levenson Recital Hall on December 16 at 7 p.m. The performance, under the direction of Monica Harte and Thomas Cultice, will be accompanied by piano and is free to the public.
The German composer Engelbert Humperdinck (1854-1921) began work on his most famous opera after his sister asked him to compose music for a play for her children. The opera was based on the Brothers Grimm story about a brother and sister who are abandoned by their parents in a forest and narrowly escape being eaten by a witch who lives in a gingerbread house. Richard Strauss — who called it “a masterpiece of the highest quality… all of it original, new, and so authentically German” — conducted the opera’s premiere in 1893. It was also the first opera to be transmitted live on the radio in 1923. Humperdinck is often confused with the popular English singer (originally named Gerry Dorsey) who appropriated the composer’s memorable name in the 1960s at the suggestion of a manager.
The Conservatory of Music of Brooklyn College is one of New York City’s leading institutions in the training of musicians in a university setting. The Conservatory’s instructional offerings feature a comprehensive curriculum in the major, special topics seminars, master classes, symposia, internships, guest artist appearances, and a calendar of more than 100 performances by students and faculty in the College’s performing arts center. The center includes the 500-seat George Gershwin Theater, the 2,500-seat Walt Whitman Auditorium, the 168-seat Sam Levenson Recital Hall, and a Workshop Theater. Conservatory ensembles have been invited to perform throughout the United States and other parts of the world.
For more information on the performance, call (718) 951-5286.