A Halloween Opera Mashup

Oct 19, 2018

Halloween is not normally associated with opera, but in Charlotteville, where the holiday is celebrated with enthusiasm, one local opera company is planning a special production. 

Brenda Patterson and Nancy Allen Lundy star in a Charlottesville production of The Forgotten.
Credit Victory Hall Opera

As an adult, you might not remember Hansel and Gretel as a scary story, but Victory Hall Opera’s Miriam Gordon-Stewart says the company’s production will remind you.

“Two children get sent out of their home into the woods and they get lost and have to spend the night there, and that’s where our version leaves them until they wander, in the second half, into a whole new story.”

And that story is The Medium -- a short opera written by the American composer Gian Carlo Menotti – best know for Amal and the Night Visitors.  It’s a dark tale of parents who have lost children trying to reach them through a séance. This Halloween mash-up will take place at the Vinegar Hill Theater, now run by Light House Studio, which has produced several short films to accompany the production.

“We have this dark, smallish space to work in.  We can project onto the walls, we can project onto the ceiling.  We can create lighting and visual effects that are going to engulf the entire space, so you really feel immersed in them.” 

Gordon-Stewart says the program, called The Forgotten, is also about modern-day anxiety.

“It explores the ways in which we are afraid of each other – whether you’re concerned about your gun rights or whether you’re concerned about your gay rights.”

She directs the program October 25, 27 and 30th in Charlottesville.