Metropolitan Opera: Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel

Airs Saturday, January 7 at 12:00 noon
The 2011-2012 Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast season continues with a live broadcast of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, starring Alice Coote and Aleksandra Kurzak as the adventurous siblings.  The fairy-tale opera, performed in English, is part of the Met’s holiday series. Tenor Robert Brubaker is the Witch who plots to turn the children into gingerbread, and Michaela Martens and Dwayne Croft are their parents.  Rising British conductor Robin Ticciati, who will become music director of the Glyndebourne Festival in 2014, makes his Met debut with this production. Hansel and Gretel will be heard live over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network at 12 pm CST on Saturday, January 7.

In Humperdinck’s opera, based on the tale by the Brothers Grimm, the siblings wander into the forest in search of strawberries and narrowly escape the clutches of an evil witch. The folk-inspired score includes the famous “Evening Prayer,” in which the children, alone in the forest, ask for fourteen angels to guard them as they sleep. The opera has been associated with the holiday season ever since its premiere on December 23, 1893. In 1931, a live Christmas Day broadcast of Hansel and Gretel inaugurated the series of Met matinee radio broadcasts that continues to this day.

The intermission will feature a panel discussion about the creation of The Enchanted Island, the new Baroque pastiche that has its world premiere at the Met on December 31. Met General Manager Peter Gelb moderates a conversation with members of the opera’s creative team including conductor William Christie, set designer Julian Crouch,  director Phelim McDermott, and librettist Jeremy Sams,. The Enchanted Island will be broadcast on Saturday, January 21 (and also shown Live in HD in movie theaters around the world).