Critics have been singing the praises of our latest film in the Scottish Opera: On Screen series, Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel, which was filmed in December 2020 at the Theatre Royal in Glasgow.
The cast includes Kitty Whately as Hansel, Rhian Lois (La bohème 2020) as Gretel, alongside Nadine Benjamin, Phillip Rhodes, former Scottish Opera Emerging Artist Charlie Drummond (Così fan tutte 2020) and a small chorus. Conductor David Parry leads The Orchestra of Scottish Opera. If you haven't watched Hansel and Gretel yet, you can learn more about the film with our free digital programme, stuffed full of interviews, artist biographies and exclusive articles.
Critics have praised the sublime playing from The Orchestra of Scottish Opera. The Stage said ‘The score is expertly played and lovingly conducted by David Parry who conveys the expressive potential of every note.’ The I newspaper highlighted ‘plenty of depth and zest in Derek Clark’s reduced orchestration.’ The Sunday Times also praised the performance, noting ‘an expert reduction of the Wagnerian score by Derek Clark, deftly conducted by David Parry.’
The I newspaper also recognised the singers, with ‘energised performances from Kitty Whately and Rhian Lois as Hansel and Gretel...polished singing and rough and tumble action.’ The Times also praised Kitty and Rhian for their ‘sophisticated elegance,’ and The Stage commented on Nadine Benjamin's ‘star- turn as the Witch – a role from which she extracts all available possibilities.’
‘Highly enjoyable film that boasts brilliant playing of Humperdinck’s memorable and lovely music.’ ★★★★ The Telegraph
‘Magic.’ ★★★★ Bachtrack
‘The Evening Prayer is as magical as I have ever heard it sung: Rhian Lois’s Gretel and Kitty Whately’s Hansel are in perfect artistic voice and their crisp delivery of David Poutney’s translation is impeccable.’ ★★★ Artsdesk
‘Beautifully sung.’ The Times
‘The singing is top class.’ Vox Carnyx
Audiences have also been sharing their praise of the production:
Keiron Howe on Facebook said: ‘Wonderful. Imaginative staging and fantastic singing and playing. My five year-old and I loved it!’
On YouTube, Tonie Larkin Bear said: ‘This is such a pretty production! I love how clever the staging is. You can tell how careful everyone is being with social distancing, and yet their interactions still seem so natural...the performers managed to portray such affection between the family members even while keeping six feet apart. Also, can I say this is the most glamourous and fabulous Witch I've ever seen in a production of this opera!’
@JayneTurner7 tweeted: ‘What a terrific production of Hansel and Gretel from @ScottishOpera tonight! Watching the premier in Lancashire. A real treat after a long day! Well done to all involved. Brava! Bravo! Bravi!’