Hänsel und Gretel

by Engelbert Humperdinck
Performed: - Molkenmarkt 2, 10179 Berlin, Germany, Aug 31 - Sep 01, 2022

I very much enjoyed returning to the Berlin Opera Academy, a summer academy for young international opera singers who wish to start their professional careers in the German world of opera. After DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE, and DIE FLEDERMAUS, this was my third time – the charm?
Hänsel und Gretel is quite a brutal story for a “fairy tale”.
The children are left home alone, expected to work, the mother yells at them and chases them into the dark forest, Dad comes home drunk – in many ways being with the witch feels better. Except that she wants to bake and eat them…

Setting the story in today´s world, the impoverished family of Hänsel and his sister Gretel live on the outskirts of an urban landscape, where nobody wants to live. It borders on a landfill, a radioactive area of an abandoned nuclear plant. The kids do what kids do today, they immerse themselves in virtual – happier – worlds. Hänsel is engrossed in his gameboy, Gretel grooms her influencer persona. The parents are not bad people but deeply exhausted and equally eager to escape their unhappy reality. For them it is Vodka.

The witch, the outsider of society, has taken possession of the landfill. It is her domain, she is the queen of the landfill and rules over her minions. Neglected children from all over are kidnapped and taken for some undisclosed scientific activity: research, organ mining, trafficking?

Director: Katrin HilbeConductor
: Lutz deVeer

Scenic & Projection Design: Simone Serlenga
Lighting Design: Damian Mohr
Costume Design
: Jessica Farrell

Costumes: Maru Camorino Bua

Assistant Directors: Imogen Wood, Rosalyn Stürzer
Stage Management: Lauren Krohn
Production Management: Christie Eckersley

(August 31, September 1st, 2022)
Hänsel – Barbara Braunová, Maria Milenic

Gretel – Joo Yeon Kim, Diane Forest
The Witch – Anastasia Koorn
Mother/Gertrude – Elizabeth Green

Father/Peter – Eric Schoeffler, Mike Bhayibhile
Sandman (Witch`s Consigliere) – Samantha Brady, Mónica Álvarez
Dew Fairy (Orderly) – Breffni Fitzpatrick, Claudia Mackay
Kids/Chorus – Sarah Brown, Leah Bondy, Jessica Plummer, Sophia Colodner,

 Photos: ©Opernfotographie Detlef Kurth, except for 3, 7, 12, 15, 18, 19, ©Opernfotograpfie Detlef Kurth/Dietrich Winkler, opernfotografie.net