Hansel and Gretel Q&A
with Erik Earl Larson and Sam Filson Parkinson
We recently sat down with FWO-TCU Lesley Artists Erik Earl Larson and Sam Filson Parkinson to discuss their roles in Fort Worth Opera's upcoming family opera.
What about your character of Peter, the Father, interests you from both a dramatic and musical perspective?
Erik Earl Larson: What I find most interesting about Peter is his relentlessly playful character. They are a very poor family, and frequently have to go hungry - yet, he sings a delightfully playful aria, showing how happy he is when he's able to bring home 'luxurious' food for his family. This same nature shines through - despite his terror - when he sings about the Witch in the woods. The music is spooky, yet still playful; he, himself, is not totally convinced of the reality of the fairy tale.
He recognizes the importance of finding his children, but he doesn't miss an opportunity to frighten their mother! It must be this same playful nature that is found in both Hansel and Gretel that allows them to not be paralyzed with fear, but rather keep their heads about them when the find themselves in a sticky situation with the Witch, herself!
Sam Filson Parkinson: There is a lot of drama packed into the father's part. Traditionally impoverished, he finally found success at the market only to discover that his children are foraging alone in the spooky woods. It's fun to explore the extremes of parenting: being nurturing while independence grows. Musically the father's part relies on the use of a lot of traditional music, drinking songs and pop/folk music from the time, which is always a delight to sing.
Published November 8, 2018 by Ryan Lathan