Dozens of Putney children on the trail of operatic brilliance

House in the woods: Hansel and Gretel

House in the woods: Hansel and Gretel

First published in News Wandsworth Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

The classic tale of Hansel and Gretel will be brought to life in Putney next month.

Four primary schools, All Saints’, St Mary’s, Hotham and Our Lady of Victories’, will be at the centre of a 100-strong children’s chorus in the modern operatic production which tells the story of a young brother and sister.

The opera, which focuses on a cannibalistic witch who lives in a house made of cake and sweets, will feature seven soloists, five of whom are under 18.

A 17-year-old soprano, Hannah Cox, will take up the role of Gretel, while nine-year-old Henry Jeynes will play the role of Hansel.

The brainchild of opera director Donna Stirrup, the production marks the launch of Community in Music in Putney, which aims to bring children’s operas, small-scale operas and semi-staged concerts to audiences at the church.

Ms Stirrup said: "It is very exciting to be able to bring such a significant community event to fruition. The fact that four local schools have agreed to take part in this production is testament to the strong community spirit which prevails in Putney."

Other schools will also be included in the chorus and teenagers from the borough will be involved as performers, assistant directors, costume designers and make-up artists.

Hansel and Gretel; All Saints’, Putney Common, Putney; July 6, shows at 2pm and 4pm; £10 adults, £6 concessions, under 11s free; tickets available on the door.

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