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Opera: Hansel & Gretel

Hansel & Gretel

Hansel & Gretel

By Engelbert Humperdinck

The Opera

“Hänsel und Gretel” is an opera by nineteenth-century composer Engelbert Humperdinck, who described it as a “fairy tale opera”.

The libretto was written by Humperdinck's sister, based on the Grimm brothers' Hansel and Gretel.

It is much admired for its folk music-inspired themes, one of the most famous being the "Evening Benediction" from Act 2.

The idea for the opera was proposed to Humperdinck by his sister, who approached him about writing music for songs that she had written for her children for Christmas, based on "Hänsel und Gretel."

After several revisions, the musical sketches and the songs were turned into a full-scale opera.

The opera was first performed in Weimar on 23 December 1893, conducted by Richard Strauss.

Since its earliest performances it has been associated with Christmas ever since and even today it is frequently performed at Christmas time.

A favourite of children and adults alike, opera companies frequently produce this opera in various themed guises.

The sheer fantasy of the story allows for many creative indulgences.

More information about the Opera Arts Hansel & Gretel Poster here.

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