Opera Pomme Rouge, New York-based opera company presented Hansel and Gretel as an interactive opera at the Queens Museum on October 9th. Over 200 people enjoyed the Sunday matinee performance, including many children. The audience learned in a pre-sow workshop how to make origami strawberries to be picked by Hansel and Gretel during their journey through the forest.
Flowers and little tree branches were also distributed to the audience for use during the same scene. These interactive components excited both young and old and got the performance off to an exhilarating start. The actual performance took place in the atrium of the museum. The audience became part of the story, transforming into the forest as Hansel and Gretel walk among them picking flowers and origami strawberries. Magda Gartner in the role of Hasel and Aine Hakamatsuka as Gretel captivated the audience with their beautiful voices and youthful movements. Jennifer Noel, who performed as the scary Mother and Witch, and Hirona Amamiya in the role of the Sandman exuded musical authority and great stage presence. This performance was Opera Pomme Rouge's first official full-staged performance in NYC and the very first opera performance in the history of the Queens Museum. Anna Etsuko Tsuri, general director of Opera Pome Rouge who also directed this opera, said about the production, "The energy which not only I but also all of the staff and musicians put into this one-time performance was tremendous. I hope the audience felt our passion and that this turned some of them into new opera lovers."