• Scott Williamson

Hansel & Gretel, birds & shadows...

It's the end of Harry Potter's birthday and the first dress rehearsal of TOI's new Hansel & Gretel, it's late and I am thinking about birds. From the Phoenix to the Cuckoo...

The Cuckoo features prominently in the central scene of H&G, where the twins are lost in the woods at night. All kinds of Freudian resonances vibrate that polarity, if you will. The Cuckoo is a herald of summer, which falls at one of the Earth's main solstices and as such is a ripe time, mythologically speaking.

As a nocturnal bird, like the Owl or Loon, the Cuckoo is an archetype for the mysterious, the unknown or other, the unconscious. She is a powerful symbol.

In myth and fairy-tale, twins or any sibling combination represent distinct aspects of the Self which require integration or assimilation. So Hansel and Gretel are two halves of one whole, on one level. They are twin poles like Alpha/Beta or Apollo/Dionysus or Eros/Thanatos or Hermione/Ron...

"I would know my shadow and my light, so that I may at last be whole" wrote Michael Tippett. Shadow and light. 'The Boy who Lived' would not be Harry Potter without Lord Voldemort, and nothing can live without its shadow. To consider the myth another way, the characters who do not have a shadow (vampires, Die Frau ohne Schatten, et. al.) are not really alive...

Come see our cool new production of Hansel and Gretel this weekend August 3-5! We may not have dueling wands but we have a disco ball...

#OperaIsGroovy #TOI #Hansel&Gretel

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