Engelbert Humperdinck’s opera based on the Grimm brothers’ fairy tale Hansel and Gretel, which premiered in 1893 under the baton of none other than Richard Strauss, is a regular family favourite – perfect for the picnic atmosphere of the Perth Festival’s Opera in the Park. This semi-staged production by West Australian Opera in the Supreme Court Gardens for Opera in the Park was made particularly memorable by stunning. animated projections from Sohan Ariel Hayes – whose work on Boorna Waanginy: The Trees Speakdelighted Perth Festival audiences in 2017 and 2019 – transforming the haunted German forest into a sparser, West Australian landscape complete with grass trees.

Ashlyn Tymms and Pia Harris in  Hansel and Gretel. Photo © Base Photography

With a libretto by Humperdinck’s sister Adelheid Wette, there’s plenty of humour in this rendition of the story – sung here in English rather than German – and the cast gave larger than life performances. At the centre of which were, of course, the titular siblings, with mezzo-soprano Ashlyn Tymms in the role of Hansel and soprano Pia Harris as Gretel. The pair’s bickering got plenty of laughs from the audience in the first...

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