Perhaps the most popular operatic fairy tale of them all, Hansel and Gretel is also one of the darkest. From a poor home in which hunger is an ever-present threat, brother and sister escape to the world of the forest, both idyllic and dangerous. There, they encounter supernatural forces such as the Sandman, the Dew Fairy and, most frightening of all, the Witch.

Hansel & Gretel was part of a three-opera ‘Fairytale Season’ by Opera North. We reset the action to the modern day, with Hansel and Gretel playing with a camera feed as they await the return of their mother and father. Through this camera feed, they use props to re-create the forest and the gingerbread cottage, which are then projected on all five surfaces of their kitchen environment, turning the whole space into a forest of knock-off christmas trees, or a fridge full of sweets.

We devised and constructed the wireless camera systems, and worked closely with the ON props department to built all the small-scale props required to create the larger environments, and with the cast in rehearsals to direct camera moves, arrange shots and built the language of the piece.

Photos by Mesmer and Robert Workman