Celebrate Christmas at The Royal Opera House with Hansel and Gretel

This year the Royal Opera House presents a stunning new production of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, the perfect first opera for children aged 6 and up.


Hansel and Gretel is the perfect operatic treat for the festive period, with this exquisite adaptation of the well-known Brothers Grimm fairy tale being a treat for young and old.  Staged by director and designer Antony McDonald, the production pays tribute to the picture-book German landscape and to the enchanting fairy tale narratives of the Brothers Grimm, while also being mindful of the story's darker aspects.

Humperdinck's score combines irresistibly catchy folk songs with a lyrical overture and orchestral interludes that are marvels of rich, late-Romantic orchestration.  Humperdinck and his librettist and sister, Adelheid Wette, originally conceived Hansel and Gretel as a children's play with songs for their family to perform.  It subsequently evolved into a full-scale opera.

The opera's acclaimed premiere was on 23 December 1893 in Weimar, conducted by the composer Richard Strauss.  The opera has been associated with Christmas ever since.

Hansel and Gretel's parents have fallen on hard times.  One afternoon, the children decide to cheer themselves up by dancing.  Their mother Gertrud is furious to discover them neglecting their work so she sends them out into the forest to find strawberries for supper, little realizing that it is a dangerous place after dark.

Hansel and Gretel get lost in the forest and are lulled to sleep by a tiny Sandman.  The next morning, the children wake after a night of wonderful dreams to find themselves near a house made of delicious cake.  They can't resist a nibble… and the house's sinister owner emerges.  What will she do to them?

Staged by director and designer Antony McDonald, who crafts a picture-book production to bring this darkly enchanting story to vivid life, the Royal Opera’s new production marks 125 years since Hansel and Gretel’s premiere on 23 December 1893.

Renowned conductor and General Music Director of Frankfurt Opera, Sebastian Weigle, makes his Royal Opera debut conducting Hansel and Gretel, with a cast led by former Jette Parker Young Artists mezzo-soprano Hanna Hipp as Hansel and soprano Jennifer Davis as Gretel, and featuring tenor Gerhard Siegel as the Witch.

Hansel and Gretel opens at the Royal Opera House on 13 December 2018, with subsequent performances on 17, 21, 27 and 29 December 2018. The Royal Opera presents a Schools’ Matinee performance of Hansel and Gretel on 11 December 2018, supported by The Taylor Family Foundation.

Tickets are available from the Royal Opera House website and Box Office on 020 7304 4000

13, 17, 27 December 2018 at 7.30pm
21 December 2018 at 12.30pm
29 December 2018 at 11.30am

Sung in German with English surtitles
Suitable for children aged 6+


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