Hansel and Gretel at the semper opera house dresden
Fairy tale drama in three actsAfter the poetry by Adelheid Wette
Performed in German with German and English supertitles
Since its first performance in 1893, Humperdinck's most famous opera Hansel and Gretel has remained popular, becoming over the generations almost synonymous with the first family visit to the opera.
Hansel complains he is hungry. Gretel shows him some milk that a neighbour has given for the 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 some strawberries. Their father, a broom-maker, returns home very drunk. He brings out the food he has bought. Then he asks where the children are. 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.
Hansel picks strawberries. The children hear a cuckoo singing and eat the strawberries. In the silence of the wood, Hansel admits to Gretel that he has lost the way. The children are 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.
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 how to do that. 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 worried parents rush in and everyone is pleased to see each other again and glad about the fact that the witch is dead.
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