• Hansel and Gretel Performance Activities

Supporting Students During The Met: Live in HD Transmissions

Thanks to print and audio recording, much about opera can be enjoyed long before a performance. But performance itself remains an incomparable embarrassment of riches—sound and color, pageantry and technology, drama, skill, and craft. Performance activities are designed to help students tease apart different aspects of the experience, consider creative choices that have been made, and sharpen their own critical faculties.

Each activity incorporates a reproducible activity sheet (links below). Students bring the activity sheet to the transmission for filling out during intermission and/or after the final curtain. The activities direct attention to characteristics of the production that might otherwise go unnoticed. Ratings matrices invite students to express their critique, a time-tested prompt for careful thinking.

My Highs & Lows

The basic activity sheet is called My Highs and Lows. Meant to be collected, opera by opera, over the course of the season, this sheet points students toward a consistent set of objects of observation. Its purposes are not only to help students articulate and express their opinions, but to support comparison and contrast, enriching understanding of the art form as a whole.

An Opera as Fact

For Hansel and Gretel, the other activity sheet "Hunting for Food" is a kind of in-your-seat scavenger hunt for food references in The Met: Live in HD transmission. The activity Food for Thought explored food references in the opera's music and libretto. This Metropolitan Opera production carries the theme into sets, costumes, even staging. Students can use the activity sheet to guide their Hansel and Gretel Food Hunt. Keep track of as many food references as possible.