Hänsel und Gretel
A fairy tale of a brother and sister falling into the hands of a witch in a magical production featuring clowns, acrobats and puppets
The State OperaApproximate running time
2 hours 15 minutes, 1 intermissionLanguage
In Czech, subtitles in Czech, EnglishPremiere
April 23, 2015
Matěj Forman’s magnificent adaptation of the feted opera by the German composer Engelbert Humperdinck, based on the Grimm brothers’ popular fairy tale
State Opera Orchestra
Prague Philharmonic Children's Choir
Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel is one of the most frequently performed operas in Germany. Inspired by the Grimm brothers’ popular fairy tale, the libretto was written by the composer’s sister Adelheid Wette, who modified the rather macabre story, adding the characters of the Sandman and the Dew Fairy, as well as the instrumental dream pantomime scene in the forest, and concluding it with the resurrection of the witch’s victims and the happy reunion between the children and their parents. With the music written in the grand Wagnerian romantic style, Humperdinck’s opera also contains folk rhythms, songs for children and old melodies. The world premiere, in Weimar on 23 December 1893, was conducted by Richard Strauss, totally enraptured by the piece. Enraptured too was the audience, and Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel has ever since remained extremely popular in Germany, where every December it has been performed at more than 35 opera houses. In 1905, the piece was first shown at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where it has often been staged during Christmas.
Our current adaptation of Hänsel und Gretel is directed by Matěj Forman, primarily known to Prague audiences as the designer of the magical scenery for the highly acclaimed productions La Belle et la Bête, A Walk Worthwhile and Enchantia, which he has created in recent years for the National Theatre Opera together with his brother Petr. Matěj Forman and his team’s conception of the musical fairy tale was inspired by the world of itinerant theatre.
Photographer for production: Hana Smejkalová
Photo and video gallery
Where to buy tickets
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Tickets for October on sale from July 1st.
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