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Arts / Entertainment

Hansel and Gretel Opera Theatre

April 19, 2010

The story of a poor couple, their son, Hansel, and their daughter, Gretel, and their encounter with a cunning, child-eating witch, is full of gorgeous melodies and great characterizations. CSU's Opera Theatre presents this classic story in two performances that are free and open to the public.

April 22 and 24
7:30 p.m.
Organ Recital Hall
University Center for the Arts

Colorado State Opera Theatre presents Hansel and Gretel by German composer Engelbert Humperdinck, with special guest Charles Taylor, baritone.

Performances take place on Thursday, April 22, and Saturday, April 24, 7:30 p.m., in the Organ Recital Hall at the University Center of the Arts, 1400 Remington St.

Admission is free and seating is first-come, first-served.

Endearing opera

Join CSU Opera Theatre, directed by Kelly Gebhardt Taylor, for a special presentation of the classic story of Hansel and Gretel. With a libretto written by Humperdinck’s sister Adelheid Wette, the Grimm brothers’ fairy tale is performed in English, with piano accompaniment played by Karen Stoody, conducted by CSU graduate conductor Vaughn Cardona.

Since its premier, the endearing opera has been extremely popular with the first performance in 1893 conducted by Richard Strauss, and the 1894 Hamburg premier conducted by Gustav Mahler.

Treat for the whole family

The story of a poor couple, their son, Hansel, and their daughter, Gretel, and their encounter with a cunning, child-eating witch, is full of gorgeous melodies and great characterizations, as well as one of the most famous tunes in all of opera – the Children’s Prayer (When at Night I go to Sleep), is a treat for the whole family.

Internationally acclaimed baritone and Colorado State University Artist-in-Residence Charles Taylor will appear in the role of the father of Hansel and Gretel.

Patrons will be treated to a very special appearance by the internationally acclaimed baritone, Charles Taylor, in the role of the father.

Taylor is a CSU Artist-in-Residence and brings a wealth of professional experience to the students of the opera program. The production also greatly benefits from the guest directing of Kelly Gebhardt Taylor.

Guest director shares expertise

Assistant director, junior Cassie Murray feels honored when professionals share their expertise with students. “It's important for us to see the passion they put into their work, especially since it is a field many of us are trying to enter,” said Murray.

As the assistant director for the show, Murray has worked closely with the guest director. “It has been a rewarding experience watching Ms. Gebhardt Taylor work with the cast, both in staging and musical rehearsals, and she includes me in the directing process, for which I am grateful.”

The tradition of a second spring opera started in 2009 with the CSU Opera Theatre workshop production of A Little Night Music by Stephen Sondheim. Created as an opportunity for students to enhance their repertoire, the operetta was presented as a class final. The successful experiment is now a fully-staged event, as well as a rare opportunity to see superbly produced opera at Colorado State University at no charge.

About Charles Taylor

Arizona native Charles Taylor has received international acclaim for his magnificent baritone voice and dramatic conviction. Chuck is a graduate of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, which he joined at the beginning of the 2002-03 season, after being selected as a winner of The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2001.

He made his Metropolitan Opera debut that season in the role of the Herald in Otello, and has gone on to sing at the Met for seven consecutive seasons. Mr. Taylor has also appeared with Seattle Opera, Houston Opera, San Francisco Opera, Opera Colorado, Bilbao Opera, Musicverein (Vienna), Utah Festival Opera and Opera Fort Collins.

About Kelly Gebhardt Taylor

Originally from Philadelphia, PA, Kelly Gebhardt Taylor received both her B.M. and M.M. degrees in Voice Performance from Temple University. She is a current D.M.A. candidate at the SUNY Stony Brook and manages the Opera Fort Collins Apprentice Artist and Educational Outreach programs in conjunction with CSU Opera Theatre.

Kelly has appeared with San Diego Opera, Utah Opera, Virginia Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Natchez Opera, Opera Fort Collins and others.

The School of the Arts

For a full performance and event calendar, more information, and to sign up for a free event e-newsletter, visit

The School of the Arts at Colorado State University provides an enriched venue in which the study and practice of Art, Dance, Music and Theatre are nurtured and sustained by building the skills and knowledge needed by future generations of arts professionals to become contributors to the essential vitality of our culture and society.

Contact: Jennifer Clary
Phone: (970) 491-3603