Gretel and Hänsel
Opera As a family 2019-20
E.Humperdinck / S.Menozzi - Au Théâtre de la Renaissance
- Théâtre de la Renaissance, Oullins
- 1 hour20 minutes
- In French
In this captivating version of the famous operatic tale, Gretel comes up with a ruse. Performed by child singers, the two heroes overcome the witch, for our greatest delight.
While out strawberry picking, Hansel and his sister Gretel fall asleep in the forest. When they wake up, they discover an appetising gingerbread house, inhabited by a witch. She gives them all sorts of confectionery, so as to fatten them up, before eating them. But Gretel pushes the witch into the oven and frees the other child prisoners.
A musical delight
Inspired by the tale Nennillo e Nennella, published in the 17th century by the Italian Giambattista Basile, the story of Hansel and Gretel has been through numerous versions. In the Brothers Grimm’s treatment, it lost its terrifying side, while cannibalism was replaced by a deluge of pastries. Engelbert Humperdinck adopted it in turn and transformed it into a romantic opera. It premiered on 23rd December 1893 in Weimar, conducted by Richard Strauss.
In the version being presented at the Opéra de Lyon, the composer Sergio Menozzi and the writer Henri-Alexis Baatsch give a greater importance to the role of Gretel. They also revive the entertaining, familial dimension of the tale, as well as the disturbing side of the original story. While the orchestra has been replaced by a sextet of instruments, the young voices of the Studio and the Children’s Choir of the Opéra de Lyon will provide a delightful freshness.
Opera after Engelbert Humperdinck
French adaptation by Henri-Alexis Baatsch and Sergio Menozzi,
Premiered in Lyon on 14th December 1995
As a coproduction with the Théâtre de La Renaissance