Hansel & Gretel

Kassidy Wells (Hansel) and Erin Mazzoca (Gretel) rehearse their roles.

The Wheeling community will have four chances to enjoy a classic opera as West Liberty University presents Engelbert Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel,” Nov. 29 – Dec. 1 at Vance Presbyterian Church, 905 National Road.

Times for the performances will be 7:30 p.m., Thursday and Friday, Nov. 29 and 30 and 1 and 5 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 1. All performances take place in Vance’s Fellowship Hall.

WLU Associate Professor of Music Dr. Linda Cowan is directing the production, and the cast features West Liberty University students from the College of Arts and Communication singing the roles.

“We are so grateful for the support of Vance Church with this production. When we were searching for an appropriate space and having some trouble locating one, Vance agreed to help by providing the space we need,” said Cowan.

“We hope that many newcomers to opera will find it attractive. It is a very child friendly production, running about one hour and 45 minutes. The story is a classic fairy tale that is so theatrical and features lovely music. Give opera a try, you won’t be disappointed,” said Cowan. “The timeless tale of lost children, candy treats and an evil witch also is perfect entertainment for the holiday season.”
WLU students singing the main roles include: Alan Cline and Michael Mathias Dotson as Father, Brittany Kimball as Mother; Kassidy Wells and Timothi Williams as Hansel and Erin Mazzocca and Alexandra Perkins as Gretel. Celesta Berga will sing the part of the Witch and Carrie George and Taylor Henderson will sing the part of the Sandman/Dew Fairy.

Also in the cast are 34 Triadelphia Middle School students, under the coordination of Ohio County music teacher Joyce Jingle.

The sixth through eighth graders will sing in both a children’s chorus and the chorus of angels during the production.

Set and lighting design, complete with gingerbread house, is by technical director and WLU student Josh Benyo and costumes are provided by Stages of Wheeling. Accompanist will be WLU pianist Judy Allison.

WLU students Jeffrey Tice and Kyle Cook are production assistants and WLU art student Amber Kinney designed the colorful poster for the opera. The playbill design is by student Corinne Martin.

All performances are open to the public and ticket prices are $10 for adults and $5 for students and children. For reservations and additional information, please call 304-336-8930.