Hansel and Gretel

Engelbert Humperdinck

Based on the Brothers Grimm classic, this beloved fairy tale whips together frothy folk tunes with sumptuous orchestration into a deceptively sweet, deliciously dark confection that has delighted families for generations. Minnesota Opera’s new production of Engelbert Humperdinck’s enduring masterpiece arrives just in time for the holiday season.

Preliminary run time of 2 hours and 10 minutes, with one intermission.

Sung in German with English translations projected above the stage.

  • Synopsis

    The two children find themselves in front of a house made of cakes, pastries and gingerbread. They begin to nibble on the sugary treats. The Witch sneaks up behind them and throws a rope around Hänsel’s neck. She offers her friendship, but both children are suspicious. The Witch casts a spell to immobilize them and puts Hänsel in a cage, while Gretel watches helplessly.

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  • Cast and Creative Team

    Read more about the performers on the stage and people behind the scenes.

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  • Composer Biography

    Humperdinck’s big break came while studying abroad in Italy. After an introduction to Richard Wagner, the young composer was invited to Bayreuth in 1881 to assist with the premiere of Parsifal (1883). Perhaps overwhelmed by this experience, Humperdinck settled in as a lecturer and music critic, leaving composition in abeyance. A decade later, his sister, Adelheid Wette, asked for some folksongs to accompany her rendition of Hänsel und Gretel (1893), which eventually morphed into a fully staged opera. It was enormously successful, appearing at more than 70 theaters in its first year.

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