Grimm tidings in the woods
THE City of Perth's free annual Opera in the Park event returns to Supreme Court Gardens on February 22, when WA Opera will immerse the audience in the world of
The popular opera by German composer Engelbert Humperdinck brings the Brothers Grimm fairytale to life while media artist Sohan Ariel Hayes, who worked on Boorna Waanginy, will transform the park into a forest with projection, light and imagery.
Ashlyn Tymms and Pia Harris are playing the title characters of Hansel and Gretel respectively in the concert performance, the two singers relishing their roles and Tymms continuing the tradition of Hansel sung by a mezzo soprano.
“It's great getting to play a child because generally as a woman your part is either about going crazy or being in love, which is a fine line,” Mt Pleasant soprano Harris said.
“I'm lucky because I get to work with my close friends Ash Tymms and assistant director Matt Ward; we all met at London's Royal College of Music.
“I feel so fortunate to be able to develop this piece with Ash because obviously our chemistry is so natural and we're building on what we already have.”
This will be the first Opera in the Park for English National Opera-trained Harris, who returned home to Perth two years ago and spends her year between WA Opera, Opera Holland Park London and New York Lyric Opera, where she has also performed as Gretel.
“The one in New York was a lot more traditional and sung in German; this one is in English,” Harris said.
“There are two different endings to the fairytale but we'll be performing Humperdinck's version, which is much more familyfriendly.
“It's such an important event for Perth and WA Opera because our version of this opera is so inclusive that everyone can enjoy it.
“We are all excited and just wish we could do more than one performance. I feel like it's a winner and it's going to be amazing.”
The concert starts at 8pm and will be livestreamed via the WA Opera Facebook page.