Hansel and Gretel

Engelbert Humperdinck

  • Romanian Opera Craiova Premiere
  • 6 februarie 2014
  • Time Length
  • aprox. 1h
  • Extra info
  • Spectacol în limba română

Opera (musical fairy tale) by Engelbert Humperdinck.

Libretto by Adelheid Wette based on the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale.

Romanian text adaptation: Traian Savinescu.

Peter and his wife Gertrud live in a shabby hut, together with their two children, the boy Hansel and the girl Gretel. They have difficulties in surviving, working and selling brooms in the market, and poverty and hunger torture the entire family. The parents are away at the market, and the children are at home working. They try to forget their hunger by singing and playing, but they do not succeed, so they attack the last supply in the house – the cream pot. They eat up all the cream and then they hide the pot, fearing their mother might get angry. As they are playing, Gertrud comes back from the market and is furious since they are playing instead of working. She rushes to scold them, but she accidentally runs over the pot and breaks it. Angry, she sends the children to the woods to pick up berries. The father comes back; he had managed to sell the brooms and buy all kinds of food. As he finds out that, even though it is dark outside, Hansel and Gretel are still in the forest, he becomes scared and tells the mother of the Wicked Witch that lures lost children, fries them in the oven and turns them into gingerbread. Scared, the mother goes to look for the children, followed by the father.

In the forest, as Hansel is picking and eating berries, Gretel is braiding a flower crown. The night has come, and the children have lost their way home. Around them, the forest transforms, comes to life, a dwarf lures them into a gentle sleep, fairy tale animals dance around them, and the Forest Fairy takes them to the fairy tale world. Gretel is amazed of everything she has dreamt and is surprised to find out that Hansel has had the same dream as well. They find a gingerbread house and they begin to grab pieces of it and eat them up. Suddenly, the door opens and the Wicked Witch appears on the threshold, wishing to lure them into the house with all kind of goodies. The children are not tricked and they want to run away, but the witch pronounces the magic formula “hocus pocus” and the children can no longer move. Hansel is taken to the cage. The Wicked Witch, riding a large broom, then invites Gretel (whom she wants to eat first) to look into the oven, intent on pushing her inside. Cleverly, Gretel pretends to be clumsy and asks the Witch to show her how it’s done. Taking advantage by the Witch’s negligence and helped by Hansel whom she frees from the cage, she pushes the Witch into the oven. The witch is fried and roasted and turned into gingerbread. And since fairy tales always end well, the parents, guided by the animals in the woods, find their children and they all hold each other happily.


*Grigore Constantinescu & Daniela Caraman-Fotea, Ghid de operă, Bucharest, 1971

**Ana Buga & Cristina Maria Sârbu, 4 secole de teatru muzical, Bucharest, 1999

***Ioana Ștefănescu, O istorie a muzicii universale, Vol. IV, Bucharest, 2002