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Hansel and Gretel by Humperdinck: Glyndebourne Greats

Robin Ticciati leads a cast that includes mezzo Alice Coote as Hansel and tenor Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke as a terrifying, gender-bending witch.

Glyndebourne Greats: Hansel and Gretel by Humperdinck

The first in a short season of great performances recorded at the Glyndebourne Opera Festival in the last couple of decades. Starting with the greatest children's opera of them all, and one that can bring a tear to the eyes of the most hardened adult. Based on the Grimm's fairy tale about two children sent into the dark forest by their scolding mother for knocking over a jar of milk. And there they are seduced by the delicious candies and treats stuck to the gingerbread cottage of an old Witch called Rosina Tastymuzzle. When she finds them nibbling at the sweets on her house she entraps them to fatten them up until they are just juicy and plump enough to eat. Of course, as in all the best fairy tales good triumphs over evil in the end - but not before we've shivered and shuddered at the great Jungian archetype of the devouring mother.

Robin Ticciati leads a cast that includes the mezzo Alice Coote as Hansel and the tenor Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke as a terrifying, gender-bending Witch.

Presented by Martin Handley

Hansel…..Alice Coote (Mezzo-soprano)
Gretel…..Lydia Teuscher (Soprano)
Mother…..Irmgard Vilsmaier (Mezzo-soprano)
Father…..William Dazeley (Bass)
Witch…..Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke (Tenor)
Sandman…..Tara Erraught (Mezzo- soprano)
Dew Fairy ..... Ida Falk Winland (Soprano)
Glyndebourne Festival Chorus
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Robin Ticciati (conductor)

*1830 Acts 1 and 2

*1930 Act 3

Act I
Hänsel and Gretel are doing chores. Both are bored and hungry, and to cheer themselves up they start to dance. Their games are interrupted by their Mother, who is angry to find them playing instead of working. In her anger she knocks over the milk jug, losing what was to have been supper. She sends them into the forest to gather strawberries instead. Wearied by their precarious existence, she sinks into a chair, only to be woken by the return of her husband. She is irritated to find him tipsy, but calms down when he produces a sack full of food. When he enquires after Hänsel and Gretel, he is alarmed to hear they are in the forest: he warns of the Witch who lives there, and both parents set out to look for the children.
Act II
Hansel and Gretel happily gather and eat strawberries. When night falls they realize they are lost, and are frightened by the mysterious shapes in the mist. But a Sandman appears and settles them. They say their evening prayers, and go to sleep. The mist around them turns to clouds from which angels appear, who guard the children from harm.
At dawn the Dew Fairy comes to wake Hänsel and Gretel. They are excited to see a house not far away, but when they begin to nibble at it, the Witch emerges and captures them, casting a spell. She puts Hänsel in a cage, telling Gretel that her brother needs fattening. She releases Gretel with a spell, in order that the girl may help her with the oven. But Gretel uses the spell to free Hänsel, and as the Witch demonstrates to Gretel how to check the oven, the children push her into it. As the Witch dies, the fence of people is transformed back into motionless children. Hänsel invokes the formula for breaking the spell, and the children jump up and thank Hänsel and Gretel for saving them. The Mother and Father appear, and the family is reunited.

21 days left to listen

3 hours, 29 minutes

Music Played

  • Georges Bizet

    Symphony in C major

    Orchestra: Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
    • DG.
  • Antonio Vivaldi

    Gloria in D major, RV 589

    Conductor: Sir John Eliot Gardiner. Orchestra: English Baroque Soloists. Choir: Monteverdi Choir. Singer: Katharine Gowers. Singer: Margaret Cameron. Singer: Lucy Ballard. Singer: Elinor Carter.
    • Vivaldi: Gloria, Handel: Gloria, Dixit Dominus: John Eliot Gardiner.
    • Philips Classics.
    • 1-11.
  • Benjamin Britten

    Piano  Concerto in D major, Op.13 

    Performer: Steven Osborne. Orchestra: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Ilan Volkov.


  • Sat 23 May 2020 18:30

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