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 is appropriate for grown ups and children who aren’t afraid of the dark.

Parents know their children best, but we recommend this opera for children 10 years of age or older.

Instead of the traditional gingerbread house, stage director and choreographer Doug Varone sets the production in an impoverished urban area in the early 20th century. The children are irresistibly drawn to a beautiful and strange carnival world where the performers from Zenon Dance Company create a circus-like atmosphere. Tony Award nominee David Zinn creates intriguing set and costume designs. See Behind the Scenes images below for a sneak peek.

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

Sung in German with English translations projected above the stage.

  • Synopsis

    In their run-down tenement, Hansel and Gretel endure their daily chores. Both are starving, and Gretel chides Hansel for his complaining. Putting their work aside, they begin to dance, but their mother, Gertrude, enters and scolds them for their dalliance. A jug of milk is broken, and she is infuriated with her naughty children, sending them out of the house in search of food.

  • Dale Johnson's Show Preview

    Artistic Director Dale Johnson gives us a preview of this new production. Hansel and Gretel pairs the irresistibly beautiful and strange carnival world with the real world of poverty and danger. You’ll enjoy this delicious new production of Hansel and Gretel for adults and children who aren’t afraid of the dark…

  • Behind the Scenes

    Get an exclusive look at the creation of Hansel and Gretel.

  • Cast and Creative Team

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

  • Taste of Opera

    Enhance your opera-going experience with a Taste of Opera – a delicious pre-show dinner and relaxed conversation with experts from the world of opera. Leave the logistics to us and enjoy an all-inclusive evening out!

    Taste More...
  • Behind the Curtain

    Get the inside scoop! Behind the Curtain explores the music, history, and production of Hansel and Gretel. Led by Minnesota Opera’s Head of Music Rob Ainsley, this event features talks and performances by artists and members of the opera’s creative team.

  • Watch Hansel and Gretel

    Head of Music, Rob Ainsley, has this to say about the Met’s production of Hansel and Gretel, which you can watch below:

    This is a clip from the first production of the opera I worked on, which centers around the theme of hunger. The fabulous pantomime is a magnificent banquet the two children dream of enjoying, complete with fish-headed Maître-D’s!

  • Listen to Hansel and Gretel

    Listen to Hansel and Gretel via Spotify:


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