Hansel & Gretel - Michigan Opera Theatre

Overview

The classic Brothers Grimm fairytale like you’ve never seen it before! With award-winning puppetry by Basil Twist, audiences enjoy a lavish production featuring flying angels, dancing gingerbread and a larger-than-life witch. And Humperdinck’s rich, lyrical score completes the magic!

Fast Facts

Hansel & Gretel (Hänsel und Gretel)
Opera in three acts
Music by Engelbert Humperdinck
Libretto by Adelheid Wette, based on the Grimm fairy tale
Premiered in Weimar, 1893

This Production
Conducted by Stephen Lord | Directed by Basil Twist
Production design by Basil Twist
Sung in German with projected English supertitle translations
Performed in two acts
Run time is 2 hours including intermission

Artists

Emily Fons

Hansel

Deanna Breiwick

Gretel

Matthew DiBattista

Witch

Mary-Hollis Hundley

Gertrude

Russell Braun

Peter

Cheyanne Coss
SA

Dew Fairy

Katherine DeYoung
SA

Sandman

Kimberley S. Prescott

Assistant Director

Basil Twist

Director

Synopsis

ACT I

In the broom-maker’s house. Hansel complains he is hungry. Gretel shows him some milk that a neighbor has given for the family’s supper. The children dance. Their mother returns and wants to know why they have got so little work done. She accidentally spills the milk and chases the children out into the woods to pick strawberries.

Their father, a broom-maker, returns home drunk. He brings out the food he has bought, then asks where the children have gone. The mother tells him that she has sent them into the woods. He tells her about the Witch who lives there, and that the children are in danger. They go out into the woods to look for them.

ACT II

In the woods. Hansel picks strawberries. The children hear a cuckoo singing and eat the strawberries. Soon they have eaten every one. In the sudden silence of the wood, Hansel admits to Gretel that he has lost the way. The children grow frightened.

The Sandman comes to bring them sleep, sprinkling sand over their eyes. The children say their evening prayer. In a dream, they see 14 angels.

ACT III

The gingerbread house. The Dew Fairy comes to waken the children. Gretel wakes Hansel, and they see the gingerbread house. They do not notice the Witch. The Witch decides to fatten Hansel up and puts a spell on him. The oven is hot. Gretel breaks the Witch’s spell and sets Hansel free. When the Witch asks her to look in the oven, she pretends she doesn’t know how to: the Witch must show her. When the Witch peers into the oven, the children shove her inside and shut the door. The oven explodes. The gingerbread children come back to life. The mother and father find the children, and all express gratitude for their salvation.

—Courtesy Welsh National Opera

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Additional Resources

Bravo Spring 2019

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News/Blog

‘Hansel and Gretel’ is “mesmerizing” at MOT

Adults in the opening-night audience gasped, laughed and applauded as this magnificent creation vamped across the stage and even managed a burlesque-type shimmy as she cast one of her horrible spells.

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Reviews: Hansel & Gretel

It is NOT just a children’s production, but a stupendous display of staging and strong, rich beautiful music. If you miss this Detroit production, you have missed adding another dimension to your opera-going experience. So sad
🙁

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Hansel and Gretel: Puppets Amplify Fantasy of Classic Fairy Tale

It’s a tale as old as time. A young brother and sister are driven from their poverty-stricken family to fend for themselves in the woods, only to be...

Read More

Fast Facts

Hansel & Gretel (Hänsel und Gretel)
Opera in three acts
Music by Engelbert Humperdinck
Libretto by Adelheid Wette, based on the Grimm fairy tale
Premiered in Weimar, 1893

This Production
Conducted by Stephen Lord | Directed by Basil Twist
Production design by Basil Twist
Sung in German with projected English supertitle translations
Performed in two acts
Run time is 2 hours including intermission

Sponsors

Additional Resources

Bravo Spring 2019