December 12, 2018

At Opera Orlando’s production of Hansel and Gretel by Englebert Humperdinck, UCF Opera members past and present reunited. With three performances across December 8 and 9 at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater, the UCF AlumKnights spread holiday cheer and paused for a photo.

Engelbert Humperdinck’s operatic retelling of the ever-popular Grimm fairy tale features a lush score and charming characters that, on Christmas Day in 1931, became the first complete Metropolitan Opera radio-broadcast performance. The cast includes mezzo-soprano Sarah Purser ’04BME ’12MA as Hansel, soprano Jillian Marini as Gretel, soprano Samantha Barnes Daniel ’07BM as the mother, baritone Ben Ludwig ’14 BM as the father, and tenor Jess Muñoz as the witch. Opera Orlando’s music and education director Robin Jensen conducted and creative director Grant Preisser directed.

UCF Opera alums at Opera Orlando

(From left to right) Thomas Potter, UCF Opera Director; Natalie Almeter ’18BM played the roles of the Sandman & the Dew Fairy; Robin Jensen, UCF Opera Music Director conducted; Ben Ludwig ’14BM played the role of the Father; Samantha Barnes Daniel ’07BM played the role of the Mother; (kneeling, front) Sarah Purser ’04BME ’12MA played the role of Hansel.