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Friday Night at the Opera - 12/16/11 - Humperdink: Hansel and Gretel


Hansel and Gretel is an opera by nineteenth-century composer Engelbert Humperdinck, who described it as a Märchenoper (fairy tale opera). The libretto was written by Humperdinck's sister, Adelheid Wette, based on the Grimm brothers' fairy tale "Hansel and Gretel". It is much admired for its folk music-inspired themes, one of the most famous being the "Abendsegen" ("Evening Benediction") from act 2.

The idea for the opera was proposed to Humperdinck by his sister, who approached him about writing music for songs that she had written for her children for Christmas based on "Hansel and Gretel". After several revisions, the musical sketches and the songs were turned into a full-scale opera.

Humperdinck composed Hansel and Gretel in Frankfurt in 1891 and 1892. The opera was first performed in Weimar on December 23 1893, conducted by Richard Strauss. It has been associated with Christmas since its earliest performances and today it is still most often performed at Christmas time. This 1990 recording stars Anne Sofie von Otter and Barbara Bonney. Jeffrey Tate conducts.

 
Friday, December 16, 2011

Play List

8:00p
8:00p
Pietro Mascagni: Cavalleria rusticana, opera Intemezzo - Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony; Ondrej Lenard, conductor; Label: Naxos; Number: 8550240 FindBUY FindBUY
8:09p
Engelbert Humperdinck: Hansel and Gretel ; Jeffrey Tate, conductor; Anne Sofie von Otter and Barbara Bonney; Label: Angel Records FindBUY
10:00p
10:15p
Gilbert and Sullivan : Gilbert and Sullivan Highlights ; Sir Charles Mackerras, conductor; Label: Telarc FindBUY
11:00p
11:15p
various: Mirella Freni Concert ; various, conductor; Label: London Records FindBUY

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