UK Opera to showcase Grimm tale

By Kelly Wiley

Follow the breadcrumbs this weekend to the Lexington Opera House where the UK Opera Theatre and the UK Symphony Orchestra will present the classic fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel.”

“It’s a glorious piece. It’s some of the most beautiful music ever written,” said John Nardolillo, director of the orchestra.

“Hansel and Gretel” follows two children who are led into the woods where they fall upon a candy house inhabited by a witch. The witch lures in the children, whom she plans to turn into gingerbread cookies. Ultimately, she fails, and the children return home with the witch’s treasure.

“Hansel and Gretel” may be a classic fairy tale for children, but Nardolillo says the piece is more sinister than some people realize.

“The Grimm fairy tales are kind of dark,” Nardolillo said. “Kids love them of course, but sometimes they make adults cringe.”

Nardolillo hopes to take the audience on an “emotional journey and spiritual journey.” He believes that people respond to great music on a deep level; it’s more than just music.

“It’s not just about playing the right notes at the right time,” he said. “A good piece of music is like a good book or a good play — it tells a story.”

“Hansel and Gretel” will be at the Lexington Opera House today and tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $34 for adults, $30 for seniors, $27 for faculty, $12 for students and $10 for children. To purchase tickets, visit