Hänsel und Gretel 2010
Your reviews of the 2010 Tour revival production
We had a "nice" evening at Haensel and Gretel. The music was pleasant but, apart from the Evening Prayer, largely unmemorable. Consequently there was nothing in which the singers could really shine although they also sang very capably. Even the story line is reduced to the bare essentials with little added drama or complexity. The two 'children' acted very convincingly, as did the witch. The best parts were the orchestra and the brilliant designs for the cardboard house and the sweet shop. No regrets about going, but it will probably be the first and last time we choose to watch this particular opera.
M C Thomas
It took me a while to realise the subversive nature of this Hansel and Gretel. The worship of the god of consumerism with even the angels munching on burgers. Once I got the point I enjoyed it much much more and regretted the delay in my appreciation of the 'message'. Very well done I thought and thanks for the experience.
My introduction to Hänsel und Gretel was a very traditional production at the Folksoper in Vienna. Whilst lovely, this probably made me wary of modern productions and my reticence has undoubtedly caused me to miss many of the messages and references hidden within the story. A braver attitude to new productions in recent years has paid dividends and this year at Glyndebourne opened my eyes to the ways in which the characters deal with temptation, particularly when presented with the opportunity to run riot in a sweet shop. The singing was superb all round but specific mention must be made of Alice Coote and Lydia Teuscher, who were outstanding in the title roles. Their acting was quite frankly a masterclass in how singers can become their characters. Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke was superb as the Witch and he developed the role beyond the fall of the curtain as the pantomime boos mixed with applause as he took his bow. The LPO was on top form, with orchestral colours highlighting the Wagnerian undertones of the score and a precision within the brass section which heightened the dramatic tension within the work. It was, in short, a wonderful night at the opera. Do I want to see and hear it again? Yes. Will I? Yes – at the Proms on 31 August.
We saw H&G on Sat 7th Aug. The music from the orchestra in the first half blew me away as music. Just magnificent playing from the orchestra as well as the singing - and that continued in the second half (which from a musical point of view was not as great). BUT the witch just won the show!!
We loved the children running around in the second half half - it was magical with the dance with the plastic bags (such a symbol of ecological disaster but so beautifully dance with the music - it felt like they weren't litter!). It was great to see so many young in the audience (I suspect you had an under 30's audience ticket that night). Well done, Glyndebourne!
I saw h&g last night - i was blown away by the mother. what an amazing voice! brilliantly cast. i am still debating whether i liked the production. my 10 year old niece loved it - laughed out loud at the broomstick/curtain trick - genius! and obviously the witch herself (himself) was very funny. so i guess i'm still desperate to watch a traditional and magical experience of the opera - but as a comedy setting it was clever - and it certainly kept my ten year old niece entertained!
The mother sings Irmgard Vilsmaier and her voice is really great. A real high dramatic voice, good for Wagner and Strauss and of course for Humperdincks "mother". I saw her tonight and she was the most impressive part of a wonderful show. I love special voices and of course the children chorus and the orchestra with the wonderful conductor Robin Ticciati
A truly superlative performance of a magical opera! Gorgeous music, wonderfully played and sung, extraordinarily good acting, and a production although modernised, wholly in keeping with the composers intentions. We saw the performance of two years ago, and this was just as good. Please, Glyndebourne, can you keep it going permanently? Harold and Olga Wienand.
H B Wienand
I had neither seen nor heard this opera before. But after the overture there was little in the music which grabbed me, and I didn't get the eco message until I read the above comments. I just wondered what all those nasty plastic bags were doing in the forest. As with other productions (eg Macbeth) the production tended to distract from the music. I don't think I will watch this opera again, anywhere. I shall, however, listen to the Proms broadcast to see if the music will grab me when not overwhelmed by the production.
J A C Martin