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Fairy Tale Opera in three pictures

Composer Engelbert Humperdinck · Libretto by Adelheid Wette
In German with English and German surtitles

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Cast for all dates

Musikalische Leitung
Patrick Lange
Inszenierung
Richard Jones
Bühne und Kostüme
John Macfarlane
Neueinstudierung
Benjamin Davis
Lichtkonzept
Jennifer Tipton
Licht
Michael Bauer
Choreographie
Linda Dobell
Einstudierung Choreographie
Anjali Mehra
Einstudierung Kinderchor
Stellario Fagone

Peter, Besenbinder
Milan Siljanov
Gertrud
Katja Pieweck
Hänsel
Samantha Hankey (12-07-2019, 12-08-2019, 12-14-2019), Tara Erraught (12-08-2019, 12-14-2019)
Gretel
Christina Gansch (12-07-2019, 12-08-2019, 12-14-2019), Elsa Benoit (12-08-2019, 12-14-2019)
Die Knusperhexe
John Daszak (12-07-2019, 12-08-2019, 12-14-2019), Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke (12-08-2019, 12-14-2019)
Sandmännchen
Sarah Gilford
Taumännchen
Mirjam Mesak
Kinderchor
Kinderchor der Bayerischen Staatsoper
  • Bayerisches Staatsorchester
  • Children's chorus of the Bayerische Staatsoper
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Since its first performance in 1893, Humperdinck's most famous opera Hansel and Gretel has remained constantly popular, becoming over the generations almost synonymous with the first family visit to the opera. "Brother come and dance with me!“ – "Susie, dear Susie" – a dancing brother and sister, the Dew Fairy and the Sandman, the Witch and the parents: a collection of all the fairy tale elements of the 19th century. And yet this is also a tale of hardship, hunger and the desire for abundance with a clear moral: "When the need is greatest, God the Lord puts out His hand!“

And, in Richard Jones' opulent, brilliant setting, it's a real must!

Act One

Hansel and Gretel are alone at home and do not want to do any work. They are hungry and sad about the fact that there is scarcely anything to eat in their home most of the time. Gretel shows her brother the freshly-filled jug of milk with which their mother plans to make a rice pudding in the evening. Both children take several sips of the milk, the level drops increasingly. They are dashing around and dancing when their mother comes home. She is angry and wants to punish the children and while doing so she accidentally knocks the milk jug over and sends the two of them off to collect berries. In despair she bemoans the fact that the family is so poor.

Their father comes home in a good mood. He has had a successful day for once, he is slighty drunk and brings home a bag full of food. He is worried about his children and tells his wife about the witch who bakes children in her oven, turning them into gingerbread children which she then eats. The parents set out to search for their children.

Act Two

Hansel has picked berries and Gretel has woven a wreath of flowers. Hungry still, and acting more wildly, they eat all the berries. They cannot find their way home again. They wander around, lost and frightened. A strange being appears: the sandman, who strews sand in their eyes. Drunk with sleep they say their evening prayer and lie down. They dream.

Act Three

Next morning the children are awoken by another unknown being, who introduces herself as the little dew fairy. They realize that they have both had the same dream. They suddenly come across huge sweets and stuff them in their mouths greedily. With every bite a mysterious voice is heard, Hansel and Gretel think they have just imagined it and continue to eat. They are taken prisoner by the witch, who overpowers them with ever more to eat, Hansel is tied up. The witch plans to bake the children in a huge oven. The children craftily trick the witch and push her into the hot oven. Suddenly numerous children, who have been turned into gingerbread children by the witch, come alive again. The worried parents rush in and everyone is pleased to see each other again and glad about the fact that the witch is dead.

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Premiere of Engelbert Humperdinck's "Hänsel und Gretel" on March 24, 2013 in the Nationaltheater

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Biographies

Patrick Lange studierte an den Musikhochschulen in Würzburg und Zürich und wurde 2005 in das Dirigentenforum des Deutschen Musikrates aufgenommen. Claudio Abbado ernannte ihn im selben Jahr zum Assistenzdirigenten des Gustav Mahler Jugendorchesters. Als Assistent Abbados arbeitete er mit den Berliner Philharmonikern und mit dem Lucerne Festival Orchestra. 2010 wurde er Chefdirigent an der Komischen Oper Berlin und betreute dort ein breit gefächertes Repertoire. Seit der Spielzeit 2017/18 ist er Generalmusikdirektor des Staatstheaters Wiesbaden, wo er u. a. Tannhäuser, Arabella und Un ballo in maschera dirigierte. Gastengagements führten ihn u. a. an die Wiener Staatsoper, die Opéra national de Paris, die Semperoper Dresden, das Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, die Staatsoper Hamburg, die Opera Australia in Sydney, das Opernhaus Zürich, die Oper Frankfurt, die Korea National Opera in Seoul und die Canadian Opera Company in Toronto sowie zum Glyndebourne Festival. Dirigat an der Bayerischen Staatsoper 2019/20: Hänsel und Gretel. (Stand: 2019)

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