Set in the industrialized 1950s, Hansel and Gretel are latch-key kids to a depressed mother and overworked father. The witch runs a stainless-steel kitchen with modern gadgets and a glass-door oven. One hopes it's the self-cleaning kind.

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(translation: English)
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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Alice Coote ...
Christine Schäfer ...
Gretel - Hansel's sister
Alan Held ...
Peter - their father
Rosalind Plowright ...
Lisette Oropesa ...
the Dew Fairy
Sasha Cooke ...
Philip Langridge ...
The Witch
Vladimir Jurowski ...
Himself - Conducted by
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Metropolitan Opera Chorus ...
Chorus
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Storyline

Set in the industrialized 1950s, Hansel and Gretel are latch-key kids to a depressed mother and overworked father. The witch runs a stainless-steel kitchen with modern gadgets and a glass-door oven. One hopes it's the self-cleaning kind.

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Release Date:

26 March 2008 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Connections

Remake of Hansel and Gretel (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

 
More disgusting than timeless
12 October 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I love opera and I love Hansel Und Gretel. This production however didn't work for me at all, and one of about three or four opera productions I didn't care for. It does have its good points, the beautiful music, excellent sound and picture quality, the great orchestra playing and conducting and great performances from Christine Schaefer, Alice Coote and Alan Held.

However in alternative to timeless like the story and music, the production was disgusting and mean-spirited with little to no subtlety. The sets are okay if limited, but the costumes particularly with the pigs replacing angels and the Witch's prosthetic arms are rather cheap looking.

The music is brilliant, no question about it, and the story timeless. They are cheapened however by the staging. The Dream Ballet is ineptly choreographed, having no cuteness, charm or magic if anything it felt more like a parody, and the finale disappointingly is very joyless. The Evening Prayer is the only bright spot in terms of staging.

Even worse are some of the really distasteful touches thought up by Jones. And this is not just the pig angels and fish butlers. There's also Gertrude vomiting large chunks of food in full view of the audience on hearing of the Witch, the Witch force-feeding Hansel by pushing a funnel and tube down his throat and after the Witch is pushed into the oven Gretel smears chocolate onto Hansel's upper lip so that he looks like Hitler.

While the performances are mostly very good, two don't work. They are Rosalind Plowright who comes across as very shrill as Gertrude, and perhaps the biggest disappointment of the production Phillip Langridge who seems very ill-at-ease and flabby as the Witch, he is neither funny or menacing, when he tries to be either he overdoes it.

Overall, a Hansel Und Gretel production that leaves a bad taste in the mouth. See the 1981 Vienna and 1982 Met productions for what the opera really is like. 4/10 Bethany Cox


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