Hänsel und Gretel at West Green Opera

Singers from our Young Artists Programme present a spellbinding revival of our critically acclaimed production of Hänsel und Gretel at West Green House this summer. Jan Capiński, who performs the Father and understudied the role last season, looks forward to being reunited with the team of covers from last year, working with director Olivia Fuchs and truly taking ownership of his character.

As a singer making the difficult transition from full-time education to a freelance professional career, understudying roles is an enormous part of my development. It allows me to expand my repertoire, learn by watching the principal cast pacing themselves through the rehearsal process, and work towards achieving the same level. This type of role study is much more beneficial than sitting at home with a score. Covering the Father last year at Garsington Opera has made his entrance aria a key part of my audition repertoire because every time I perform it I am reliving the time spent watching and rehearsing the whole show. It's an experience that enhances my performance no end.

I'm greatly looking forward to revisiting Hänsel und Gretel this year at West Green House. For one thing it has grown to be my favourite opera, perfectly paced, with catchy melodies and a rich sophisticated score underneath. I can't wait to be reunited with the team of covers we had last year, as they are all wonderful colleagues to work with. What I'm most looking forward to though, is making the role my own. Understudying is, to a large extent, an exercise in filling someone else's shoes, and while you do bring as much of yourself to the character as you can, you have to fit in to the geography set out by the main cast. I'm sure director Olivia Fuchs will let us truly take ownership of the characters as well as the show this time around, and I can't wait to get started on that process.

Performances of Hänsel und Gretel take place at West Green Opera on Saturday 26 & Sunday 27 July 2014
Find out more about Hansel und Gretel at West Green Opera