Madison, NJ — The Opera at Florham will hold a Christmas-Holiday Songfest in Lenfell Hall at the College at Florham on December 8 at 3 p.m. The event will begin with an abridged, 40-minute performance of Humperdinck’s  Hansel and Gretel. Christmas songs and other holiday favorites will follow.

The event is free to Opera at Florham members as a thanks for their support. The general public can purchase tickets for $25. Refreshments will be served.

The production is under the direction of Opera at Florham’s Music Director, David Wroe, also conductor of New Jersey Festival Orchestra

Hansel and Gretel, the story of a brother and sister captured by a witch after going out into the woods, will feature Kathryn Guthrie of the New York City Opera as Gretel. With the New York City Opera, Guthrie has recently performed in the VOX 2012 concert performing Osnat Netzer’s The Wondrous Woman Within, and the educational production of Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland as the Cheshire Cat

Hansel will be played by Stephanie Melzi. Melzi has sung with the Opera at Florham before and was a finalist in its Violetta DuPont Vocal Competition in 2011.  


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Mike Phillips of the New York City Opera will direct. An opera veteran of over 50 years, Phillips has sung, acted and/or danced in countless productions over the years. Behind the scenes he has worked as Director, Choreographer, or producer on numerous productions that have been performed on every continent excepting Antarctica.  While working freelance as a director/choreographer, Phillips has also spent 20 years on the directing staff at New York City Opera. 

Ricardo Rivera will play the role of the Father while Jenni Bank will play both the Mother and the Witch. Ricardo has been an Apprentice Artist with the Sante Fe Opera for 2013, where his roles have included Thomas Martin and Hotel Manager in the world premiere of Oscar and Germont in La Traviata. Bank most recently sang the roles of role of Azucena in Verdi’s Il Trovatore with Opera in the Heights in Houston and Katisha in The Mikado with Baltimore Concert Opera.

For more information or for tickets, call the Opera at Florham at 973-443-8620. Checks can be mailed to Opera at Florham, P.O. Box 343, Convent Station, N.J. 07961. Fairleigh Dickinson University’s College at Florham is located 285 Madison Ave., Madison, N.J.  

The College at Florham of Fairleigh Dickinson University is located at 285 Madison Ave., Madison, NJ. Stay connected with Opera at Florham on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and the mailing list.

As part of its agreement with the Morris Arts Council, which has provided funding, the Opera at Florham will perform Hansel and Gretel for students of the Woodland Ave. School in Morristown on December 9. 

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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...