Hänsel et Gretel - Schedule, Program & Tickets

Hänsel et Gretel

Fairy tale opera in three scenes (1893)
Libretto by ADELHEID WETTE after the Grimm brothers' fairy tale
Performed in german

Yves Abel Conductor
Mariame Clément Stage director
Julia Hansen Sets and costumes
Philippe Berthomé Lighting
Mathieu Guilhaumon Choreography

Jochen Schmeckenbecher : Peter
Irmgard Vilsmaier : Gertrud
Andrea Hill : Hänsel
Bernarda Bobro : Gretel
Doris Lamprecht : Die Knusperhexe
Elodie Hache : Sandmännchen
Olga Seliverstova : Taumännchen
Paris Opera Orchestra and Chorus

Maîtrise des Hauts-de-Seine⁄ Paris Opera children's Chorus

In 1881, the twenty-seven-year-old Engelbert Humperdinck became Richard Wagner’s assistant in Bayreuth. Wagner had two more years to live. These two years of intense artistic collaboration on Parsifal indelibly marked the young composer’s life and style. In 1883, the Master died, leaving his disciple “incomplete”. He became a wanderer, travelling throughout Europe, eventually becoming a renowned teacher. Ten years later, in Weimar, Humperdinck completed his masterpiece, Hänsel und Gretel. His sister wrote the libretto, inspired by the Grimm brothers’ fairy tale.
The opera premiered at Christmas under the enthusiastic baton of Richard Strauss. Humperdinck had retained a Wagnerian taste for continuous melody and leitmotiv. However, his fairy-tale opera (Märchenoper) also drew on children’s songs and the sort of popular melodies whose origins tend to become lost in the mists of time.
The result is music that astounds, as deep as the lakes of Germanic legends but at the same time strangely familiar. It conjures up memories of our forgotten childhood as though once, long ago, we ourselves were that very brother and sister lost in the forest, trapped in the grasp of the witch with her gingerbread house.

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