Local theatre company brings classic tales to the Englert stage this weekend

  • 2

Hansel & Gretel, The Impresario

Englert Theatre — Friday and Saturday, May 29-30

Hansel & Gretel
Illustration by Arthur Rackham, 1909

Old Capitol Opera is back with a packed summer season. First up is a weekend perfect for people who are curious about opera, but hesitant to devote several hours to “trying it out.” For two days in May, audiences can come to the Englert Theatre to see two different operas — each of them shorter than the time it takes to go grocery shopping for a weekend barbecue.

Parents who want to introduce their children to opera can do no better than Hansel & Gretel. Engelbert Humperdinck wrote the original in 1893 after his sister asked him to help her write Christmas songs for her children. This version is condensed to one hour, featuring a cast of adult and child singers.

Later in the evening is an update of Mozart’s opera The Impresario. This is a comic tale of a theatre company that hires two actresses who end up competing for the coveted lead role. Iowa City writer Franklyn Tomas updates the opera to a modern setting, pares it down to one hour and four roles, and gives it a new English translation. Even with a makeover, this version still retains the feel of a singspiel, a German form of opera that retained more spoken dialogue than Italian opera.

This article was originally published in Little Village issue 177

  • 2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


A collaboration between The Englert Theatre and FilmScene


Help us build the greatest small city for the arts in America—right here in Iowa City. Learn more »

Donate Today

Strengthen • Grow • Evolve is a collaborative campaign led by two Iowa City-based arts nonprofits, The Englert Theatre and FilmScene that seeks a major reinvestment to strengthen the arts through modern and historic venues, innovative programming, and new models of collaboration.

For 18 years...

Little Village has been telling the truth and changing our little corner of the world.

If you can, help us head into the next 18 years even stronger with a one-time or monthly contribution of $18, or any amount you choose.


Scattergood Friends Middle School Meet & Greet

Come and visit us at the Iowa City Holiday Farmers Market and the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center on Saturday, November 16.

Learn More
Event Details

Iowa City Farmers Market
November 16
10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Robert A. Lee Rec Center

Little Village
2019 Give Guide

Get to know some of the nonprofits helping to make the CRANDIC a better place to live.