The popular fairytale opera by Engelbert Humperdinck, based on the famous fairytale by the brothers Grimm, in a colourful, image-rich, surreally imaginative production by Reinhard von der Thannen, who for over 20 years now has been setting the standard in European theatre aesthetics thanks to his extraordinary sets and costumes.
In their opera, Humperdinck and his sister, the librettist Adelheid Wette, manage to bring to life both the childish lightheartedness and dark abysses inherent in the fairytale of Hansel and Gretel. It is a tale of growing up in the midst of a cold environment shaped by material poverty. The piece is musically framed by the touching “Evening Prayer”, which the two children sing in the woods during the hour of their greatest need. Alongside this, the composer adapts a series of well-known children’s songs, which reveal a unique magic in their combination with the rich orchestral sounds of Humperdinck, a student of Wagner.
Many years of collaboration connect Reinhard von der Thannen with the director Hans Neuenfels, for whom he has provided numerous sets and costumes, most recently for a much acclaimed production of Wagner’s Lohengrin in Bayreuth. His vivid creations always conjure up beauty, while still acknowledging the dark side. Hansel and Gretel represents only the second time in his hugely successful career that Reinhard von der Thannen will also take on the task of directing.
2 hours 15 minutes
Introduction 30 minutes before the beginning of the performance, Foyer