I will be performing Gretel in the opera Hansel and Gretel this week with Opera Lancaster. This version of the classic fairy tale brings up some very interesting parenting techniques. Here they are. Parents, take note.
The Hansel and Gretel Guide to Parenting
1. Leave your children unsupervised for many long hours. Be sure to give the children work to do to fill that time.
2. If the children misbehave, threaten to beat them severely, and then send them, again, unsupervised, into the woods for several more hours.
3. Feel guilty about yelling at them, go out into the woods to look for them, but only after singing about it for awhile.
4. If you live near woods, it’s best not to give the children clear guidelines for where they are allowed to go–that way they can cover the most ground for late night strawberry picking.
5. Make sure your children know about stranger danger, so they’re plenty suspicious about the person living in the house they decide to eat.
6. ….but not suspicious enough to get away before being captured and force-fed. (Hey, a free meal, am I right?)
7. Give your children the confidence to murder someone in their own house. Especially a witch.
8. All’s well that ends well. Let’s eat this giant cookie shaped like the lady that owned that house and sing about it!
If you’re in central Pennsylvania, come see this opera!