Charleston Symphony Orchestra Hansel and Gretel
Fri., Dec. 21, 11 a.m. and Sat., Dec. 22, 10, 11:30 a.m., 5:30 & 7 p.m. 2012
We’ve got to give a shout-out to whomever came up with the term Instrument Petting Zoo, which is what’s going down this weekend prior to the performances of the kid-friendly opera Hansel and Gretel. Though there’s no mooing or oinking at this particular zoo, there will be plenty of more musical sounds as kids are let loose to try out different instruments and talk with orchestra musicians. After satisfying themselves as to what it really feels like to toot a trumpet or hold a violin, kids and their families can head into the theater for the semi-staged production of the classic fairy tale. The 19th century opera, written by Engelbert Humperdinck — kids should have fun saying that name — will last about 55 minutes, to keep younger audience members from getting too squirmy. “It should make for a nice kids’ introduction to opera, with its familiar story and characters,” says the CSO’s Nicole Ward. And to go along with the opera’s gingerbread theme (in case you’ve forgotten, the witch turns errant children into gingerbread), the CSO has partnered with the Culinary Institute to offer three different gingerbread houses for giveaways during the Petting Zoos.