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Hänsel und Gretel

Photo: Bill Rafferty

English National Opera

Humperdinck, Engelbert

Hänsel und Gretel (1893)

(Hansel and Gretel)

Duration: 165 minutes

Opera in two acts


English   Deutsch  

Libretto by Adelheid Wette after the tale by the Brothers Grimm, in the English translation by Norman Kelley (E)


Scoring

Major roles: S,M,M(orT); minor roles: 2S,M,Bar; chorus (SA); ballet; 2.picc.2(II=corA).2.bcl.2-4.2.3.1-timp-perc-harp-strings

Abbreviations (PDF)


Territory

This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.


World Premiere
23/12/1893
Hoftheater, Weimar
Company: Hoftheater Weimar


Roles

HANSEL Mezzo-Soprano
GRETEL, his sister Soprano
THE WITCH Mezzo-Soprano
GERTRUDE, mother of Hansel and Gretel Soprano
PETER, their father, a broom-maker Baritone
SANDMAN Soprano
DEW FAIRY Soprano

Synopsis

At a woodcutter's house on the edge of the forest, Hansel and Gretel play while their parents are out. Their mother returns and accidentally knocks over the milk jug that contains the last sustenance in the house. Furious, she sends both children out into the forest to look for strawberries. Their father comes home to find them missing, and warns his wife about the dangers of the witch in the forest. They set out in search of them. Meanwhile Hansel and Gretel have become lost, and go to sleep guarded by angels. In the morning they wake up to discover a house made of gingerbread in the vicinity. They soon come across the owner – the witch – who proceeds to turn Gretel into a servant and starts fattening Hansel for the oven. Just before she can place him there, the children turn the tables and shove her in instead. They free the other child-victims (who have become gingerbread-children) in time for their parents to arrive and lead them in a hymn of thanksgiving.


Moods

Comic, Dramatic


Subjects

Literary, Magic/Mystery




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