Preparing the role of Hansel, in the opera Hansel and Gretel, has been a wonderful and somewhat challenging experience. I have never had to play the role of a boy on stage before, so this brought a whole new element into my acting and movement on stage. It’s difficult trying to bring out a masculine side when we girls work our whole lives to look more feminine! But, after much practice (and embarrassment in front of my roommates), it started to come more naturally. Personally, I find the best way to learn to be something or someone you’re not, is to watch the people you want to be. I often would watch how my male friends would walk, present themselves, and move their arms around. Youtube was also a great help. After some observing, I would practice and mimic what I saw. But after all, isn’t imitation the sincerest form of flattery?
The music in Hansel and Gretel is marvelous, but deceivingly tough and large! It’s almost like baby Wagner. Many of the lines required hours of practice, even though to the ear, they sound quite simple. Also, many of Hansel’s lines towards the witch are loud and very articulated, so I had to practice much control. As soon as I would step onstage, my emotions and acting would take over and I seemed to yell the lines rather than sing them!
I have been very grateful to have the opportunity to learn this role, and hope to one day be able to sing it again!
Don’t miss Hansel and Gretel November 25th at 2pm in the Old Auditorium. For tickets visit www.ubcopera.com.