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nsel und Gretel

Opera by Engelbert Humperdinck

in German language with German surtitles

After a night in the forest, far away from their parents, Hansel and Gretel can't believe their eyes: a house made entirely of gingerbread! At first the witch living in the house sounds quite friendly, but soon she shows her true colours: Hansel is locked in a cage. Will Gretel succeed in saving her brother?

Karl Dönch's production of Engelbert Humperdinck's fairy tale opera has lost none of its fascination over the years! The indispensable classic in the repertoire of the Volksoper never fails to thrill, complete with the witch's flight over the orchestra pit.

Recommended from 6 years

Act One: Hansel and Gretel are supposed to help their parents by working, but they would rather play. Their mother is very angry with them. She sends the children out into the forest to gather berries. Otherwise they will have nothing for supper. The children’s father, a broom-maker, comes home. He is happy because he has sold a lot of brooms. The children’s mother tells him that the children are in the forest. He is shocked, fearing that they might have lost their way and ended up at the house of the wicked witch. 

Act Two: While they have been looking for berries, Hansel and Gretel have lost their way in the heart of the forest. It is getting dark and the children are tired. The Sand Man comes and scatters sand in their eyes, and Hansel and Gretel fall asleep. They are watched over by guardian angels who come down from Heaven specially to make sure that nothing happens to them.

Act Three: Next morning the children are woken by the Dew Fairy. Seeing the gingerbread house, they go and start nibbling at it. The wicked witch comes out of the house and casts a spell on Hansel and Gretel. She locks Hansel in a cage in order to fatten him up and roast him for her dinner. Gretel is supposed to help her in the house. She overhears the witch’s magic spell, by which she has brought all the children who have passed by into her power. Gretel pretends not to be clever enough to perform the task of taking some gingerbread out of the oven. The witch shows her how to do it. Quickly Gretel frees her brother from the cage and they both push the witch into the oven. All the other children are released from their enchantment by Gretel. Finally, the parents find Hansel and Gretel, and all join in a happy song of praise.


Stage direction
Karl Dönch
Set and costume design
Toni Businger
Peter, Besenbinder
Daniel Schmutzhard
Gertrud, sein Weib
Ursula Pfitzner
Maria Hegele
Lauren Urquhart
Die Knusperhexe
Ulrike Steinsky
Cinzia Zanovello
Cinzia Zanovello
Jugendchor der Volksoper Wien