The production is part of the Ópera en Familia programme and has Stefania Panighini as stage director

Ópera de Tenerife presents today, Monday, the 22nd, the production , by Humperdinck, to be performed at Sala Sinfónica on Saturday, the 27th at 06:00 pm and Sunday, the 28th at 12:00 noon, under the Ópera en Familia format. This singspiel deals with the fight between good and evil and also with the passing from childhood to maturity of the siblings. The details were revealed by the Island Director for Culture, José Luis Rivero, and stage director Stefania Panighini, at an event also attended by the singers who are performing in this production.

Ópera en Familia is an Ópera de Tenerife initiative which adapts a title for younger audiences every season. Thus, the principles and values of this art are made available to the young while they also become aware of other cultural projects carried out by Ópera de Tenerife, all of which are under the Tenerife 2030 strategy. This performance is part of Auditorio de Tenerife’s Educational and Social Area, with the collaboration of Fundación Cepsa and Obra Social “la Caixa”.

José Luis Rivero highlighted that this production “revisits the classic by Humperdinck, which was a sensation when it was premiered in 2015, including a great cast for this family opera, many of whom are old friends and familiar faces to Ópera de Tenerife, like the stage director, who is doing her third title with us”. In Rivero’s view, Ópera en familia is “a very special project, a fundamental title in the season with which we try to convey this universal language to the audience, families, from children to grandparents, to do away with the prejudices about the opera being an elitist art”.

Also, the island director explained that “apart from the school performance, we offer two more performances at the weekend, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. The idea is for families to be able to come to this opera dealing with current issues experienced by present-day families and approached in a very modern style”. Finally, José Luis Rivero thanked Fundación Cepsa and Obra Social “la Caixa”, which collaborate with the Educational and Social Area of Auditorio de Tenerife, because “without them, it’d be far more difficult to establish the programme”.

Stefania Panighini thanked Ópera de Tenerife “for bringing me here again, it’s like coming back home”, she admitted, as she reflected on the duty of art: “theatre and opera are made for entertainment but it sometimes involves other duties, like making us think about the important issues of life”. Panighini said that Hansel and Gretel is about a journey, “one of the most important journeys in life, the passing from childhood to adolescence, especially for our protagonists, who live in poverty. Although whatever the economic and social conditions of a child, they all share one thing in common: dreaming”. So, the director has set the place where the heroes get lost on the outskirts of a city instead of a forest. A wall full of graffiti leads to a world full of colour, fantasy and sweets.

Hänsel und Gretel is a three-act opera by Engelbert Humperdinck. This is an 80-minute adaptation with libretto by Adelheide Wette, the composer’s sister, based on a tale by the Grimm brothers. The opera was premiered on 28 December 1893 at Hoftheater in Weimar, Germany, under the baton of Richard Strauss. Although the duration of the work is reduced, the original message of the author remains untouched, and will also be reinforced by informative material handed out at the door to the auditorium. The texts have been translated into Spanish and the musical parts are kept in German with subtitles on a screen. 

This is the third time stage director Stefania Panighini works at Ópera de Tenerife, after Hänsel and Gretel (Humperdinck) in 2015 and Rinaldo (Handel) in 2016. She transports us to a world of asphalt and graffiti full of dangers for the two kids, who fall asleep in the street and a dream leads them to a magical portal behind a wall. We are at a stage design that is permeated with the asphyxiating atmosphere of a large modern city.

Rubén Sánchez-Vieco is in charge of the musical direction and he will lead Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife. The cast includes Aurora Faggioli (mezzo soprano), Inés Lorans (soprano), David Astorga (tenor), Silvia Zorita (mezzo soprano), Fernando García-Campero (baritone) and Elvira Padrino (soprano). Costume design is by Leo Martínez, in his tenth production for Ópera de Tenerife after his well-liked work in the musicals Sunset BoulevardJesucristo Superstar and Evita.

The performance on Saturday, 27 April is at 6:00 pm and on Sunday, 28th at 12:00 noon at Sala Sinfónica of Auditorio de Tenerife. Tickets for this Ópera de Tenerife show can be purchased at Auditorio de Tenerife box office from 10:00 am to 7:30 pm, Monday to Saturday; on the internet on auditorio website or calling 902 317 327.