Hansel and Gretel this weekend

Vancouver Island Opera presents a show catered to all walks of life at Knox

The cast of VIO's Hansel and Gretel are performing at Knox United Church this Saturday and Sunday.

The cast of VIO's Hansel and Gretel are performing at Knox United Church this Saturday and Sunday.



Opera is not for highbrow audiences according to artistic director with the Vancouver Island Opera, Tatiana Vasilieva.

“That idea that opera is only for a few people—it’s not,” she said. And that’s why I chose this opera.”

The opera she’s referring to is Hansel and Gretel, a production that involves both children and adults from this community and beyond and appeals to all ages.

This fairy tale opera tells the classic Grimm Brother’s tale in a fun and humorous way. The opera, composed by 19th century composer Engelbert Humperdinck, involves interesting music that is challenging to perform, said Vasilieva, but the talented cast hailing from this area and Vancouver have spent countless hours perfecting their roles. The children’s chorus was compiled by Dolphin Bay Music, with vocal coach Sherilene Chycosky.

Hansel and Gretel will be performed at the Knox United Church in Parksville Saturday, October 5 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, October 6 at 2:30 p.m.

Vasilieva said it took a community effort to make this opera possible, from the scenery materials which were donated by Windsor Plywood, to the expert building of Jim Branston and the painting work led by Micheline Messner and completed by other talented artists at the McMillan Arts Centre in Parksville. That centre also allowed the space for painting, which took many months to complete.

The story of Hansel and Gretel was adapted by a number of opera companies. Vasilieva, who performed as Gretel in the show herself in many cities including Toronto and Vancouver, chose the opera that makes the most sense to her. That’s why the step-mother in the story, who sends her children out to the woods and treats them so poorly, is also the witch.

“A real mother I feel would not do something like that,” she said. “For that purpose I chose the version where metaphorically the mother and the witch is the same woman.”

Following the show this weekend the cast will take it to seniors homes around this community and Nanaimo.

Vasilieva said she hopes to see a great turnout at the show at Knox this weekend.

“I very much hope that the community will appreciate the effort it took to mount this opera and to support us by coming to attend and enjoy the production.”

Tickets are $20 in advance from Cranky Dog Music in Parksville and Chocolates Plus in Qualicum Beach. Tickets will be $22 at the door. Children 12 and under are $10.  For more information on the show call Tatiana at 250-586-6095 or visit www.vancouverislandopera.com.


Just Posted

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van burst into flames just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Morningstar Golf Club in Parksville will host the 2021 B.C. Junior Golf Championships. (PQB News file photo)
Morningstar Golf Club in Parksville to host 150 of B.C’s top junior golfers

Provincial boys and girls championship begins June 28

Hannes Grosse, left, and Iris Steigemann, right, as they prepared for their 'Moments of Silence' exhibit. The father-daughter duo are showing at The Old School House Arts Centre in Qualicum Beach until June 26. (Submitted photo)
Cortes Island artists exhibit at Qualicum Beach’s TOSH in first father-daughter show

Both artists will be present at shows on Friday, June 25 and Saturday, June 26

The Lighthouse Country Marine Rescue Society will get more funding from the Regional District of Nanaimo. (Submitted Photo)
More PQB communities to fund Lighthouse Country Marine Rescue Society

RDN to introduce amendment to service bylaw contribution

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

Most Read