May 27, 2009
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Cast: Jennifer Holloway, Adriana Kucherová, Irmgard Vilsmajer, Klaus Kuttler, Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke, Amy Freston, Malin Christensson
Glyndebourne is presenting Englebert Humperdinck's (1854-1921) Hänsel und Gretel for the first time in the 2008 Festival. This magical world of fairy-tale actually began life as a commission from the composer's sister, Adelheid Wette, who had adapted the original Grimm tale into a play for her own children. Humperdinck originally produced four songs for her, but the operatic potential of the fable was clear. The work has been a constant and extraordinary success since its premiere in 1893.
Hänsel und Gretel, described by Richard Strauss as 'a masterpiece of the highest quality', combines romanticism, lyricism and exuberant playfulness in a vibrantly rich orchestration that is clearly influenced by the music of Brahms and Wagner. Like all great fairy tales, the story has darker underpinnings, evident in Humperdinck's brilliant orchestral writing which accompanies the lost siblings' journey through a shadowy world of unknown and limitless menace.
The international creative team behind this production includes conductor Kazushi Ono, Music Director at La Monnaie, and Laurent Pelly, one of France's most talented opera directors. Both are making their Glyndebourne debuts.