Hansel und Gretel – experience a unique Pop-up Opera under the stars

Winchester Science Centre is hosting a unique performance of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel under the starry skies of the planetarium on 1 March. This immersive production is performed by the acclaimed Pop-up Opera touring company and features a special one-off live choir performance by The Pilgrims’ School, Winchester.


Hansel and Gretel is one of the most popular operatic fairytales. Sung in German, with Pop-up Opera’s signature ‘silent movie’ captions in English, it tells the story of brother and sister Hansel and Gretel who are drawn into the idyllic yet dangerous world of the forest, where they encounter the Sandman, the Dew Fairy and, most frightening of all, the Witch.

The Pilgrims’ School choir perform in the opera as the gingerbread children brought back to life in a spine-tingling moment towards the end of the show, when they sing to Hansel and Gretel – asking to be touched. Hansel and Gretel touch all the children, then Hansel takes the witch’s wand, waves it and calls out the magic words that free the children from their spell.

Pop-up Opera is an innovative touring opera company which aims to broaden the appeal of opera and challenge the way opera is traditionally performed, by taking it into unusual and unique spaces across the UK. Their performance in the planetarium at the Science Centre follows on from huge successes in 2017.

“Pop-up Opera and Winchester Science Centre are very excited to offer this opportunity for young children to experience opera and be involved in what promises to be an unmissable event,” said Ben Ward, CEO of Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium. “By making full use of our 360 degree planetarium domed screen, we can generate a truly captivating and memorable experience that will be made even more magical by the exclusive addition of a chorus sung by The Pilgrims’ School.

“This unique opera performance is just one of the many enriching events that take place at Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium. As an independent educational charity, we aim to play a wide role in the community and offer engaging family-friendly events throughout the year that inspire and deliver impact,” added Ben.

Pop-up Opera’s Hansel and Gretel under the stars takes place on Thursday 1 March at 7.30pm inside the planetarium. Tickets are on sale and advanced online booking is recommended. Tickets cost £25 for adults, £20 for students and seniors, and £15 for children. Visit www.winchestersciencecentre.org for more details and to book tickets.