Opera The State Opera

Hänsel und Gretel

Engelbert Humperdinck

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Libretto adaptation: Matěj Forman, Andrea Sodomková, Radek Malý
Transversification: Radek Malý
Musical preparation: Martin Leginus
Conductor: Martin Leginus, Richard Hein
Stage director: Matěj Forman
Sets: Matěj Forman, Andrea Sodomková
Costumes: Andrea Sodomková
Choreography: Veronika Švábová
Dramaturgy: Beno Blachut

The State Opera Orchestra

The Kühn Children’s Choir

The opera, inspired by the Grimm brothers’ popular fairy tale, is the work of the German composer Engelbert Humperdinck and his sister Adelheid Wette, who wrote the libretto. Premiered in Weimar on 23 December 1893, conducted by Richard Strauss, it was an immediate success, with its popularity growing rapidly, and soon became a hit beyond Germany. In 1905 the piece was staged at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The National Theatre production of Hänsel und Gretel will be directed by Matěj Forman, primarily known to Prague audiences as the designer of magical sets for the highly acclaimed productions he has created in recent years for the National Theatre Opera together with his brother Petr. The score will be explored and conducted by Martin Leginus, music director of the State Opera, making his debut in his Prague engagement.

Matěj Forman says of the production’s preparations: “When the creative team, made up of Andrea Sodomková (set designer and painter), Radek Malý (poet, translator and Germanist) and Veronika Švábová (choreographer and dancer) and I, began devoting to Hänsel und Gretel, we found out that we could apply our experience with itinerant theatre. We imagined how the opera travelled with a troupe far beyond the gates of renowned towns, on dusty paths to the greens and backyards of small villages, and how it brought joy to audiences ranging from children to grannies, revealing to them the charm of the fairy tale. At the State Opera, we would like to try to afford Humperdinck’s opera the magic of a fairy-tale performance, blending sublime music with stunts of acrobats, puppeteers and actors, thereby bringing pleasure to adult theatre-goers, opera connoisseurs, as well as those coming to see an opera for the very first time.”

Sung in Czech.