LexPhil presents Fairy-Tale Opera at Annual Candy Cane! featuring Humperdinck’s Hänsel & Gretel with talent from Kentucky Opera Studio Artists

LEXINGTON, KY – The Lexington Philharmonic kicks off the holiday season with its annual Candy Cane Concert on Sunday, November 26, 2017 at 3:00 PM at the Singletary Center for the Arts. LexPhil will present a very special semi-staged presentation of Engelbert Humperdinck’s fairy-tale opera Hänsel & Gretel, featuring the talents of Kentucky Opera Studio Artists. Originally conceived by the Brothers Grimm, and transformed into the opera by Engelbert Humperdinck and his sister Adelheid Wette, this family-friendly holiday concert will be thrilling adventure through folklore featuring engaging visuals and the voices of Kentucky Opera Studio Artists; Joanna Latini, soprano, Clara Nieman, mezzo-soprano, and Isaac Frishman, tenor.

“This season, we are thrilled to collaborate once more with the talent of the Kentucky Opera Studio Artists,” says Music Director & Conductor, Scott Terrell. “Families of all ages will delight in this immersive, multimedia presentation of Humperdinck’s Hänsel & Gretel, a beloved holiday tradition throughout the world.”

Hänsel & Gretel was written by nineteenth-century composer Engelbert Humperdinck in 1891, with the libretto by Humperdinck's sister, Adelheid Wette based on the Grimm brothers' fairy tale "Hansel and Gretel.” Engelbert described the work as a “Märchenoper,” which translates to fairy tale opera. The work is admired for its folk music-inspired themes. The opera was first performed in Weimar, Germany on December 23, 1893, conducted by Richard Strauss. As such, performances of Hänsel & Gretel have historically been associated with Christmas and today it is still most often performed during the holidays.

In addition to the concert, families are invited to attend pre-concert activities inspired by the program, including a photo booth with gingerbread house, make your own ornament station, and other make-and-take holiday crafts. Pre-concert activities begin at 2:00 pm, in the President’s Room of the Singletary Center for the Arts. The activities will be facilitated by students from the University of Kentucky’s press relations department, led by Marcus C. Whitt, Director of the University of Kentucky Philanthropy Communications. LexPhil’s popular pre-concert Inside the Score” discussion will not take place prior to Candy Cane on November 26.

LexPhil is proud to build on the collaborative relationship with Kentucky Opera Studio Artists. Past collaborations include LexPhil’s presentation of Stephen Paulus’ profound oratorio To Be Certain of the Dawn last November, and a production of Osvaldo Golijov’s Spanish opera Ainadamar in April 2015. Performance opportunities with LexPhil help fulfill the Kentucky Opera’s Studio Artist Program’s mission of providing unique training experiences and career guidance for emerging artists at multiple stages in their education.

In addition to partnering with guest artists, and local undergraduates, LexPhil also partnered with Art Connects, bringing together music and visual art through an initiative called "Arts in Harmony"sponsored by the Bluegrass Complex of Wells Fargo Advisors. Local high school students entered visual artworks, interpreting the ‘Arts in Harmony’ theme; specifically, a visual interpretation of the relationship between art and music. Local panelists Tom Eblen, Zedtta Wellman, Matthew Wills, Celeste Lewis, and Becky Atkinson Alley judged the entries, and cash prizes were awarded to four high school artists.

Joanna Latini, soprano and New Jersey native, has been praised for “her crystal clear diction and her ringing bell-like soprano” (Edge Media Network). She will be seen as Naiad in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos, as well as covering Kitty Hart in Heggie’s Dead Man Walking. Clara Nieman, mezzo-soprano, has been praised for her “artistry and poise,” and returns to Kentucky Opera as Dryade in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos, Jade Boucher in Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, and both Rosina and Berta in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. Last season she debuted with Kentucky Opera as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly and Pitti-Sing in The Mikado, and the Lexington Philharmonic as mezzo-soprano soloist in Stephen Paulus’ “To Be Certain of the Dawn.” Isaac Frishman, tenor, with a voice described as “shining” by the Bay Area Reporter, and has been praised as “a true Rossini tenor with fine coloratura and great high notes” (St. Louis Post). Frishman makes his debut with Kentucky Opera as the resident tenor, where he will sing the roles of Brighella in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos, Howard Boucher in Heggie’s Dead Man Walking and as Count Almaviva in the tour of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville.

Free parking is available in any E Parking Lot on the UK campus, as well as Parking Structure 5 located at 409 S. Limestone, with entrances on S. Limestone and S. Upper Street.

Tickets to Candy Cane are $15 each. LexPhil’s Candy Cane is made possible through the generous support of Concert Partners, Wells Fargo Advisors and Paul Miller Ford.

For more information or to purchase tickets to Candy Cane, please contact the Lexington Philharmonic Box Office at 859.233.4226, or visit online at www.lexphil.org.

Candy Cane! featuring Engelbert Humperdincks Hänsel & Gretel
with Kentucky Opera Studio Artists
Sunday, November 29, 2017 at 3:00 pm
Singletary Center for the Arts
Tickets: $15, All Ages

The mission of the Lexington Philharmonic is to foster excellence and innovation in the performance and presentation of great music; to enrich the lives of our diverse citizenry; to educate current and future audiences and to bring distinction to our community through the orchestra’s presence and standing. Through LexPhil’s four core values of artistic excellence, innovation, collaboration and accessibility, LexPhil will continue to move forward, artistically and purposefully, providing world-class musical experiences and impactful educational opportunities for the Bluegrass Region and beyond.

Now in his ninth season with the Lexington Philharmonic, Music Director and Conductor Scott Terrell has led the orchestra in a significant transformation to align with the organizational values of artistic excellence, collaboration, innovation and accessibility. Scott is passionate about engaging the broadest possible community in music as listeners, musicians, composers and advocates. Through LexPhil collaborations with high schools, colleges and youth performing arts groups, Scott dedicates time and energy to educating emerging musical artists. His programming has expanded the orchestra’s repertoire and enhanced the national reputation of the organization through commissioning of new music, multi-media and interdisciplinary projects and international guest conducting.




All Lexington Philharmonic programs are made possible through the generous support of LexArts. In 2017-2018, the Lexington Philharmonic will receive a total of $170,000 in unrestricted support.       

LexPhils 2017-2018 Season is presented by the Dupree Initiative for Innovation, funded by the tremendous generosity of Thomas and Ann Todd Dupree.

The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, provides operating support to the Lexington Philharmonic with state tax dollars and federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Saykaly Garbulinska Foundation, funder of the Saykaly Garbulinska Composer-in-Residence Program, generously brings renowned composer Chris Brubeck to work with the Lexington Philharmonic for the 2017-2018 season.

Special thanks to the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government for its continued partnership in ensuring a flourishing future for the arts in Lexington and central Kentucky.