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Purchase College Opera Students Perform 'Hansel and Gretel'

Purchase College Opera rehearsing for 'Hansel and Gretel.'
Purchase College Opera rehearsing for 'Hansel and Gretel.' Photo Credit:

PURCHASE, N.Y. – Purchase Opera will be presenting the German classic “Hansel and Gretel” in the Recital Hall, Purchase College Performing Arts Center, 735 Anderson Hill Road in Purchase, N.Y., on Nov. 12 through 16.

Based on the enchanting Grimm brothers fairy tale, with music composed by Engelbert Humperdinck, the production is fully staged with lavish sets and costumes.

Performances of the German version of the opera, with English subtitles, will be on Friday, Nov. 14 and Saturday, Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee Sunday, Nov. 16 at 2:30 pm. On Nov. 12 through 14, there will be an abbreviated version of the opera in English for schoolchildren from Westchester and Fairfield counties.

The opera engages the talents of more than 200 members of the Purchase College community. Voice and opera studies students will bring their exceptional vocal and acting skills to the stage as they perform in rotating casts. The singers will be accompanied by two pianos in an original arrangement by Purchase College faculty members Hugh Murphy and Mina Kim, while the original production was built and designed by the Conservatory of Theatre Arts.

“The collaboration of so many dedicated students, faculty, and alumni across a spectrum of disciplines embodies the Purchase College ethos,” says Graham Ashton, director Purchase College’s Conservatory of Music. “Our music students benefit greatly from these opportunities to share their talents with people who excel in other fields — as well as the Westchester community.”

According to Jacque Trussel, director of Purchase Opera and Purchase College Conservatory of Music’s Voice and Opera Studies, “As an educational institution, our primary job is to get students on stage to gain experience performing the beautiful music and style of the opera. Fortunately, the opera is also an extraordinary cultural event for audiences to enjoy — so there is a dual benefit.”

Purchase College Conservatory of Music’s Voice and Opera Studies department is a highly selective program designed to train and mentor serious students in professional classical singing. The disciplined, integrated curriculum is taught by faculty members who have experience as successful performing artists as well as a gift for the art of teaching. Alumni of the program have performed with the Metropolitan Opera and other leading companies worldwide.

In addition to public performances of opera scenes, art song evenings, solo recitals, and choral works, the Music Voice and Opera Studies program presents two operas a year on the main stage, cast with young opera students. These productions have been acclaimed for inventiveness and a high level of professional quality, winning 10 prestigious National Opera Association – Best Opera of the Year awards.

For more information on Hansel and Gretel or to order tickets, go to http://www.artscenter.org or call 914- 251-6200.

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