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Ausrine Stundyte as Cio-Cio-San, Elizabeth Janes as Butterfly’s child and Sarah Larsen as Suzuki in Seattle Opera's production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Photo by Elise Bakketun.
Hansel and Gretel

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The familiar fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck is the ideal jumping-off point to explore opera one of the world's great forms of human expression. This first volume of OPERA America’s Music! Words! Opera! series brings opera to life. Music! Words! Opera! Featuring Hansel and Gretel includes complete lesson plans, an opera outline, activities, handouts, study questions, assessment tools, a glossary and a DVD of a classic performance conducted by the renowned Sir Georg Solti.


Learn More
Additional resources to enhance your learning.

OPERA America’s Learning Center for Hansel and Gretel
OPERA America Hansel and Gretel Online Learning Course


Study Guides
Find games, activities, lesson plans and more in the following study guides.

Lyric Opera of Chicago (2012 PDF)
In addition to its beautifully illustrated cultural and historical timeline, this study guide includes in-depth information about Engelbert Humperdinck and the music of Hansel and Gretel . Additionally, the study guide has articles about the issue of hunger and the connections between fairytales and childhood.
Opera Colorado (2011-2012 PDF)
This study guide includes activities relevant to various areas of study, including lessons in music, language arts, social studies, science, math and visual art. Highlights include activities about comparable set and costume design and a comparative geography exercise.
Opera Philadelphia (2007 PDF)
This study guide includes in-depth material for newcomers to opera and extensive information regarding the cultural history of Hansel and Gretel. Also included are customized lesson plans for a range of activities including “Build Your Own Gingerbread House” and “Write Your Own Fairytale.”
Fort Worth Opera (2002 PDF)
Explore the story of Hansel and Gretel, as well as the opera. This study guide provides activities for younger audiences, including color by number, follow the dots and sequencing.
Indianapolis Opera (1999 PDF)
In addition to providing three different versions of the Hansel and Gretel story, this study guide includes an interview with children’s author and illustrator Maurice Sendak from OPERA America’s 1997 conference in Philadelphia, PA.


Teacher’s Guide
Find additional resources and curriculum connections in the teacher’s guide.

San Francisco Opera (1998 PDF)
This teacher’s guide includes detailed resource lists coupled with customized language arts lesson plans, and arts and crafts activities. Also included is information for those new to the opera and general information about Hansel and Gretel.


Videos
Bring your learning experience of Hansel and Gretel to life with video.

Hansel and Gretel at Lyric Opera of Chicago - (Lyric Opera of Chicago, 2012)

Lyric Opera of Chicago General Director Anthony Freud, Creative Consultant Renée Fleming and Music Director Sir Andrew Davis discuss Engelbert Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel.
Becoming Hansel: Elizabeth DeShong - (Lyric Opera of Chicago, 2012)

Mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong, who sings the role of Hansel in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of Hansel and Gretel, donates her locks to "Children with Hair Loss," a nonprofit that produces hair replacements for children and adults up to age 21 at no cost to them or their family. Watch her trip to the salon, then watch as Lyric Opera of Chicago's talented wig and makeup team (including Chantelle Johnson and wigmaster and makeup designer Sarah Hatten) transform DeShong into the hungry little boy Hansel.
The Making of the Witch: Jill Grove - (Lyric Opera of Chicago, 2012)

Mezzo-soprano Jill Grove is physically transformed for her role as Hansel & Gretel's Witch. Chantelle Johnson, a member of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s talented wig and makeup team, and makeup FX artist Chris Mills spend an hour getting Grove ready for the stage.


Discography
Humperdinck: Hänsel und Gretel [Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered]
With Anna Moffo, Helen Donath and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. A co-production of BMG Music and the Bavarian Radio. (1995).

Great Recordings Of The Century - Humperdinck: Hänsel und Gretel
With Herbert von Karajan, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Elisabeth Grümmer, Josef Metternich, et al. Philharmonia Orchestra. Warner Classics (1999).

Humperdinck - Hansel and Gretel
With Kiri Te Kanawa, Federica Von Stade and John Pritchard. Gürzenich Orchestra (1990).

Hansel and Gretel by E. Humperdinck
With Brigitte Fassbaender, Lucia Popp, Walter Berry, Julia Hamari, Anny Schlemm and Sir Georg Solti. Wiener Sängerkanben and Wiener Philharmonicker, (2008).


Recommended DVDs/Blu-Ray
Hansel and Gretel
With Frederica von Stade, Judith Blegen, and Kirk Browning (Director). Metropolitan Opera (2010).

Humperdinck: Hansel and Gretel
With Christine Schafer, Alice Coote, and Vladimir Jurowski (Conductor). The Metropolitan Opera HD Live Series (2008).

Humperdink: Hansel and Gretel
With Diana Damrau, Angelika Kirchschlager, Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier(Directors). The Royal Opera (2008).


Recommended Reading
Hänsel And Gretel: A Guide To Engelbert Humperdinck's Opera…
By Lewis Montefiore Isaacs and Kurt Julian Rahlson (2012).



Summer 2014 Magazine Issue
  • Summer Apprenticeships
  • Opera Tours for Board Members
  • My First Opera by Speight Jenkins
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