Bon Appétit! |
Hansel and Gretel
Hoiby | Humperdinck
Bon Appétit! | Hansel and Gretel is a delightfully delicious double bill indeed. Lee Hoiby's 1989 monodrama, Bon Appétit!, is a musical transcription of an episode of "The French Chef," with Julia Child. This delightful piece serves as an amuse bouche to Engelbert Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel, which has been given a new English libretto by Opera Ithaca Artistic Director Ben Robinson.
This new translation uniquely ties the two operas together into an integrated (and sugary) tale of two children who fall asleep watching "The French Chef" and awaken in a dream world in which they are sent to the forest by their mother. They got lost, only to stumble upon a PBS studio, where the witch turns out to be no other than Julia Child herself! A second zany cooking show wraps up the festivities and the children wake up from their dream, hungry for cake.