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Engelbert Humperdinck opera to be performed at WCSU MainStage Theatre June 8, 9 and 10: WCSU Opera Ensemble presents ‘Hansel and Gretel’

Image from Hansel and GretelDANBURY, CONN. —   The Western Connecticut State University Opera Ensemble will present Engelbert Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel” in three performances from June 8 through 10 , 2018, at the MainStage Theatre of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury.

Evening performances will be at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 8, and Saturday, June 9, with a matinee performance at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 10. General admission is $20, with a ticket price of $15 for seniors and children under 12. Reservations may be made online at

The WCSU Opera Ensemble cast, directed by Professor of Music Dr. Margaret Astrup, will perform the 19th century three-act opera based on the fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. Hansel and Gretel are run off into the woods by their mother to pick strawberries after she returns home to find their chores not done. When their father comes home to find them gone, he warns their mother of a witch who lives in the woods and they set off in search of their children.

Lost and frightened, the siblings sleep through the night guarded by angels but the next day happen upon a house made of gingerbread, owned by a witch who turns children into gingerbread cookies. The witch captures Hansel and Gretel and fattens Hansel for baking, but the clever pair outsmart the witch by casting her in the oven and freeing all the children from their gingerbread captivity. The siblings’ parents arrive and lead the children in a concluding hymn of thanksgiving.

The title roles will be performed by Olivia Conforti, of Naugatuck, as Hansel; and Christine Manalo, of Watertown, as Gretel. The parents will be performed by Dan Satter, of Trumbull, as Peter; and Nicole Salamon, of Greenwich, as Gertrude. The witch will be portrayed by Sergio Mandujano, of Norwalk. Other cast members will include Amy Cerbie, of Meriden, and Callie Sorrento of Carmel, New York, who will alternate in performing the roles of the Dew Fairy and the Sandman.

The orchestra will be conducted by Associate Professor of Music Dr. Fernando Jimenez. The production cast also will include a children’s chorus from the greater Danbury area.

For more information, contact the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.


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