Hansel and Gretel

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January 2022
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FAIRYTALE PLAY IN THREE TABLEAUS (1893)

MUSIC BY

Engelbert Humperdinck

TEXT BY

Adelheid Wette
according to the fairy tale by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

Who isn’t familiar with the fairy tale of the children who lose themselves in the forest, only to discover the gingerbread house of a witch who wants to eat them, cannibal-style? In Engelbert Humperdinck’s opera version of the tale, the scene is set with the oppressive everyday reality of a family living on the breadline. The children of the poor broom-maker have spent the day playing and larking about rather than helping with the household chores, even accidentally wasting the only food that their mother can provide. She therefore sends Hänsel and Gretel out to pick berries in the forest.

There, the siblings not only come across good-natured creatures, such as the Sandman, but they also meet the Witch of Ilsenstein, who lures them into her cottage which is chock-full of tasty treats... Thanks to Humperdinck’s imaginative arrangement of innocent childlike melodies, his evocation of the magical romance of nature, his poetic musical score, and great symphonic swells, familiar to us from Richard Wagner’s music dramas, »Hänsel und Gretel« assured Wagner’s former colleague his breakthrough as an operatic composer. He turned the original »Nursery Dedicatory Festival Drama«, written by his sister Adelheid Wette, into a humorous tale which addresses the fears and fantasies of both adults and children with a great feeling for poetry, while its compositional depth ultimately outgrows the initial framework of a simple children’s opera.

Program and cast

Duration: approx. 2:45 hrs including one interval after act 2

Language: In German language with German and English surtitles

CAST

MUSICAL DIRECTOR

Thomas Guggeis

DIRECTOR, SET DESIGN, COSTUMES

Achim Freyer

LIGHT

Sebastian Alphons ,

 

Achim Freyer

VIDEO

Jakob Klaffs ,

 

Hugo Reis

PETER, EIN BESENBINDER

Roman Trekel ,

 

Arttu Kataja

GERTRUD, SEIN WEIB

Anna Samuil ,

 

Marina Prudenskaya

HÄNSEL

Ema Nikolovska ,

 

Natalia Skrycka

GRETEL

Evelin Novak

THE WICKED WITCH

Stephan Rügamer

SANDMAN

Clara Nadeshdin

DEW FAIRY

Marie Sofie Jacob

State Opera Unter den Linden

Die Staatsoper Unter den Linden (ehemals: Königliche Oper, ab 1919: Preußische Staatsoper, ab 1955: Deutsche Staatsoper, umgangssprachlich: Lindenoper) ist ein Opernhaus an der Prachtstraße Unter den Linden 7 im Berliner Ortsteil Mitte. Im Auftrag Friedrichs II. in den Jahren 1741–1743 von Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff im Stil des Friderizianischen Rokoko errichtet, wurde sie nach der Zerstörung im Zweiten Weltkrieg als Teil des Forum Fridericianum 1951–1955 von Richard Paulick wiederaufgebaut. Sie ist das älteste Opernhaus Berlins und das „erste bedeutende Theater überhaupt, das als monumentales, frei stehendes Bauwerk in einer Stadt errichtet wurde“.[1]

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