ENO steps into the park with Hansel and Gretel
13 June, 2019 — By Michael White
Rosie Aldridge (Mother) and Duncan Rock (Father) in rehearsals for Hansel and Gretel. Photo: Johan Persson
It’s an opera-heavy week in north London because there’s also a new production of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel playing in Regent’s Park – under the stars, which may be magical as long as you’re not looking at them through umbrellas.
It’s an English National Opera show, indicative of how topsy-turvy things are these days with a company that relocates to the Park while it hands over its own premises to a money-spinning commercial musical.
It may be that the Park draws in a new and different audience who will be so charmed by the fairy-tale joy of Hansel that they become devoted ENO supporters. Let’s hope.
But Hansel is actually a quite demanding piece: Wagnerian and long, for all its magic. And potentially confronting as a parable on child abuse. Be interesting to see how it goes down.
• Hansel and Gretel, 8pm, June 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 (plus matinées 2.45pm June 20, 22), Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Queen Mary’s Gardens, Regent’s Park, NW1 4NU. 0333 400 3562, openairtheatre.com/production/hansel-and-gretel