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Seattle Opera.

Hansel & Gretel

Oct. 15-30, 2016

"Marvelously witty! Truly heartwarming." –The Seattle Times


By Engelbert Humperdinck

"Marvelously witty! A fun and feisty trip through the woods… The two casts sang superbly and acted with skill and panache… Excellent and truly heartwarming." –The Seattle Times

…An intrepid pair of siblings took a dreamlike journey to unexpected places. The iconic Brothers Grimm story leaps from page to stage with a provocative new-to-Seattle staging that playfully addresses contemporary questions of consumerism. The Daily Telegraph calls the production “very funny and inventive—five stars!” Filled with cinematic orchestration and sprinkled with satirical humor, this enchanting confection features an eye-catching production design unlike any fairy tale you've ever seen.

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Screenshot from the Hansel & Gretel Preview.

Listen to the music

The children's chorus in Hansel & Gretel. Copyright Glyndeborne Productions Ltd. Photo: Bill Cooper.

In German with English subtitles | at McCaw Hall 
Approximate Running Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes, with 1 intermission
Evenings at 7:30 PM. Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM.

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The broom-maker’s house
Hansel and Gretel are doing chores. Both are bored and hungry, and to cheer themselves up they start to dance. Their games are interrupted by their Mother, who is angry to find them playing instead of working. In her anger she knocks over the milk jug, losing what was to have been supper. She sends them into the forest to gather strawberries for their meal. Alone, the Mother laments their precarious existence, but is soon interrupted by the return of her husband. Irritated to find him tipsy, her mood brightens when he produces a sack full of food. When he enquires after Hansel and Gretel, he is alarmed to hear they are in the forest: he warns of the Witch who lives there, and both parents set out to search for their children.


The wood
Hansel and Gretel pick and eat strawberries. When night falls they realise they are lost, and are frightened by the mysterious shapes in the mist, but a Sandman appears and settles them. Hansel and Gretel say their evening prayers and go to sleep. Angels appear to guard them from harm.


The Witch’s house
At dawn the Dew Fairy wakes Hansel and Gretel. They notice a house not far away, but when they begin to tamper with it, the Witch emerges and captures them, casting a spell. She imprisons Hansel, telling Gretel that her brother needs to be fattened up. She also casts a spell on Gretel, in order that the girl may help her with the oven. Gretel makes clever use of the Witch’s spell to free Hansel. As the Witch demonstrates to Gretel how to check the oven, the children take advantage of the situation. At the Witch’s demise, the children she had previously captured are freed, and they thank Hansel and Gretel for saving them. The Mother and Father appear, and the family is reunited.


Synopsis provided by Glyndebourne Productions Ltd

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Ashley Emerson


At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Gretel, Hansel and Gretel

Hometown: Bangor, ME
Seattle Opera Debut: Young Amelia, Amelia (’10)
Recently: Barbarina, The Marriage of Figaro (Metropolitan Opera); Blonde, The Abduction from the Seraglio (Des Moines Metro Opera); Sister Constance, Dialogues of the Carmelites (Washington National Opera)
Upcoming: Cunégonde, Candide (Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse and Opéra National de Bordeaux); Flora, The Turn of The Screw (Dallas Opera)

Last updated: October 2016

Ashley Emerson


Oct. 15, 22, 26, & 29

Anya Matanovic


At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Gretel, Hansel and Gretel

Hometown: Issaquah, WA
Seattle Opera Young Artist 2005/06, 2006/07
Seattle Opera Debut: Nannetta, Falstaff (’10) 
Previously at Seattle Opera: Marzelline, Fidelio (’12); First Lady, The Magic Flute (’11)
Recently: Violetta, La traviata (Boston Lyric Opera); Adele, Die Fledermaus (New Orleans Opera); Stella, A Streetcar Named Desire (Kentucky Opera)
Upcoming: Anne Trulove, The Rake’s Progress (Boston Lyric Opera); Mabel, The Pirates of Penzance (Lyric Opera of Kansas City); Soloist, Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Cleveland Orchestra) 

Last updated: October 2016

Anya Matanovic


Oct. 16, 19, 28, & 30