Spotlight on Claudia Haussmann – Young Artist The Sandman

Meet the emerging artists who will be presenting our 2023 Young Artists production of Hansel and Gretel this year. Claudia will play The Sandman in this production.


Can you introduce us to the role of The Sandman?
The Sandman is a wonderful little role, full of possibilities and mystery! I’m really looking forward to exploring ideas with our director as The Sandman is depicted as a somewhat morally grey character throughout folklore. I like to think of The Sandman as a benevolent sprite, however – a protective and wholesome character who comes to comfort Hansel and Gretel when they are alone in the forest, soothing them with the gift of peaceful sleep and blissful dreams by sprinkling magic sand into their weary eyes. Or perhaps he is a fragment of their childish imagination, an imaginary friend who helps them feel safe in their time of need.

What are you most excited to learn or experience during your time as an OHP Young Artist?
I’m excited to sing, create, and be back with the OHP family. I can’t wait to meet my new colleagues and I couldn’t be happier to find myself working alongside and being mentored by such a fabulous team of people.

What music do you listen to outside of opera?
Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, Koffee, Nina Simone, Sunday Service, Led Zeppelin, Björk.

What is something surprising about your job that audience members may not know?
It’s not all glamour. My first audition for OHP came after I fell down a flight of stairs at a tube station and I arrived very bruised and dishevelled! We roll with the punches. It’s now in my audition prep to have a mishap beforehand, for good luck!

What’s one piece of advice you’ve been given as an artist that has stayed with you?
“Get out of your own way. Just do it.” The exact words were more colourful, but extremely liberating. (Thank you, Linda Ormiston).

The Sandman uses magic to send Hansel and Gretel to sleep – if you had a magical power, what would it be and why?
I’m revealing my not-so-guilty Harry Potter pleasure here: it would have to be the ability to apparate – to think of a place in one’s mind and teleport straight there – because there never seems to be enough hours in the day!