hansel & Gretel
Engelbert Humperdinck • November 3, 6, 9, 11, 2018
Based on the classic fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, Englebert Humperdinck’s Hansel & Gretel is a fantastical story of a young brother and sister who must navigate an enchanted forest full of twists, turns, and one wicked witch.
Siblings Hansel and Gretel are poor peasants. In a major parenting fail, their mother sends them to forage for strawberries in a haunted forest. They get lost and spend the night in the woods. The next morning, they stumble upon a gingerbread house inhabited by a witch who imprisons them. It will take all their wits to escape before she eats them!
Since its premiere in 1893 this beloved opera has enjoyed great success. With Humperdinck’s sweeping score, this whimsical operatic confection is sure to delight both adults and children. Hansel & Gretel is an opera which makes an equally good date night, girls’ night out, and family outing.
Originally written in German, Pittsburgh Opera will be performing it in English.
Antony Walker conducts and Crystal Manich directs.
The Artistic Team
Conductor - Antony Walker
Stage Director - Crystal Manich
Scenic Designer - Robin Vest
Costume Designer - Timm Burrow
Lighting Designer - Cindy Limauro
Stage Manager - Cindy Knight
Asst Stage Director - *Matthew Haney
Asst Stage Manager - Alex W. Seidel
Asst Stage Manager - Nick Garcia
Wig and Make-up Designer - James Geier
Asst Wig and Make-up Designer - Nicole Pagano
Asst Lighting Designer - Todd Nonn
Prop Master - Johnmichael Bohach
Asst Conductor - Glenn Lewis
Chorus Master - Mark Trawka
Associate Coach/Pianist - James Lesniak
+ Pittsburgh Opera debut
* Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist
** Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist alumni
ACT I. In the house of a broom-maker deep in a German forest, Hansel and Gretel have been left by their parents, who are off in town. The children are supposed to be at work, making socks and brooms; instead, Gretel recites a nursery rhyme, which Hansel interrupts with complaints of hunger. Gretel teases her brother, calling him a complaining grump. She shows him a pitcher of milk hidden in the cupboard that their mother is saving for supper. To entertain her brother, Gretel teaches Hansel a folk dance. Suddenly Gertrude, their mother, comes home and angrily reproves them for playing when they should have been working. In her anger, the mother knocks over the pitcher of milk. When Hansel is caught grinning at this misfortune, his mother chases him out of the house and sends Gretel after him into the woods to find wild strawberries. The mother falls asleep just as the voice of her husband Peter is heard singing in the distance. Slightly tipsy when he arrives, he surprises Gertrude with all the food he has bought and tells her that he sold his brooms to a wedding party for the best price he has ever received. They celebrate their good fortune with a toast and he then asks where the children are. When Gertrude tells him that they have gone to the woods, he is horrified. He tells her about the Witch who lives there and who bakes children into bread. The two rush off to find Hansel and Gretel.
ACT II. In a forest glade, Gretel sings another nursery rhyme and then begins making a wreath of wild flowers. Hansel picks the last of the wild strawberries. He offers his basket to Gretel, who eats one; as they start to leave, a cuckoo calls, and the children parrot the bird’s call, eating strawberries all the while. As darkness falls, they realize they cannot refill the basket, and worse, that they are lost. Their fears multiply as they see visions of wild animals behind every tree. An old man appears, scattering gold sand and promising restful sleep. When the Sandman leaves, the two children kneel to say their prayers and quickly fall asleep. In their dream, Hansel and Gretel are surrounded by a host of children, who seem to have a message for them.
ACT III. The Dew Fairy brings morning to the world of the forest. The children awake and find themselves still in the forest. They happen upon a magical house, filled with cakes and sweets. When Hansel breaks a piece off from the gingerbread house, they hear a voice from somewhere inside the dwelling. An old lady comes out and offers the children desserts of all kinds; when the children refuse her temptations, she puts a spell on them and locks Hansel in a cage. Gretel is released from the spell to help set the Witch’s table. Gretel has overheard the Witch’s plan to bake her, and while the Witch feeds Hansel to fatten him up, Gretel whispers the Witch’s magic words, which break the spell on Hansel. Hungry for Gretel, the Witch calls her to the oven. Gretel cleverly asks the Witch to show her how to make the oven work. As the Witch leans in, Hansel and Gretel push her in and slam the door. The oven gets hotter and hotter until it explodes. Suddenly, the room is filled with other children. Hansel recites the Witch’s spell and the children spring to life. As Peter and Gertrude rush in and embrace their children, a gingerbread cake of the Witch is found in the oven. Before eating, all join in giving thanks for their deliverance.
-Adapted from Opera News
We want you to have the best experience possible at our performances!
- Run time: 2 hours and 3 minutes including one intermission
- Understand Every Word: Hansel and Gretel is sung in English, and has English supertitles projected above the stage at all performances
- Be sure to download the Hansel and Gretel study guide
- Parking Downtown: get real-time parking availability
- Pre-Opera Talks before each performance
- Audio Description available at The Benedum Center
- Braille Programs available at The Benedum Center
- Large-Print Programs available at The Benedum Center
- Broadway World: Photo Flash: First Look at Pittsburgh Opera's Hansel & Gretel
- Carnegie Library: Staff Picks for Hansel & Gretel
- Pittsburgh in the Round: Pittsburgh Opera’s Ashley Fabian on Upcoming Production of “Hansel & Gretel”
- The Urban Twist: A Delicious Treat and Feel Good Time With Corrie Stallings As Hansel
- The Almanac: Mt. Lebanon graduate directs Pittsburgh Opera’s ‘Hansel and Gretel’
- The Times: Things to do: Three more entertaining ideas to consider this weekend
- Opera Wire: Top 6 Operas to See This Weekend
- Entertainment Central Pittsburgh: November Theater Guide
- Trib Live: Pittsburgh Opera heads into the woods with 'Hansel and Gretel'
- Avenue 6 magazine: Center Stage
- WQED Voice of the Arts podcast for Hansel & Gretel
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Pittsburgh Opera enchants with colorful take on 'Hansel and Gretel'
- Pittsburgh in the Round: Pittsburgh Opera's 'Hansel & Gretel' Opens to Large and Enthusiastic Audience
- Discover the 'Burgh: Reliving a Classic with the Pittsburgh Opera’s Hansel and Gretel
- City Paper: Pittsburgh Opera’s Hansel & Gretel is a family-friendly affair
- Burgh Vivant: Marianne Cornetti interview
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: What's happening in Pittsburgh this weekend, Nov. 1-4
- Observer-Reporter: Mt. Lebanon grad directs Pittsburgh Opera’s ‘Hansel and Gretel’
- Empty Nest blog: Tap Into Your Childhood
- Seen and Heard International: Fairy-Tale Magic in Pittsburgh Opera’s Hansel and Gretel
Gretel (Ashley Fabian) teaches her brother Hansel (Corrie Stallings) how to dance in the first act of 'Hansel & Gretel.'
Father (Craig Verm) celebrates his fortune with his wife (Leah Heater).
Hansel (Corrie Stallings) and Gretel (Ashley Fabian) say their evening prayers and get ready to sleep in the forest under the watchful eye of the Sandman (Caitlin Gotimer).
Gretel (Ashley Fabian) awakens in the forest after a magical dream.
The Witch (Marianne Cornetti) celebrates and rejoices in her evil lifestyle.
Hansel (Corrie Stallings) and Gretel (Ashley Fabian) cleverly trick The Witch (Marianne Cornetti) and push her in the oven.
After the spell is broken and The Witch is baked into a gingerbread cookie, Hansel (Corrie Stallings), Gretel (Ashley Fabian) and their parents (Craig Verm & Leah Heater) celebrate their freedom and good fortune with the other children.
The cast and crew take you behind the scenes of Hansel & Gretel in these exclusive videos.
We go behind the curtain of Hansel & Gretel with cast, staging, and putting the show together for a live audience at the Benedum.
The cast of Hansel & Gretel shares their favorite childhood fairy tales!
Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist alum Corrie Stallings talks about her role as Hansel
Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist Ashley Fabian talks about her role as Gretel
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has implemented new security and bag policies, effective starting October 1, 2016, at the Benedum Center and their other venues.