Host Sean Bianco brings you a full-length opera featuring great voices from the past and present followed by “Opera Potpourri.”
Saturday, 8 p.m. – 12 a.m.on Music Station
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 Hoftheater 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.
Hansel – Anna-Sofie von Otter
Gretel – Barbara Bonney
Witch – Marjana Lipovsek
Mother – Hanna Schwarz
Father – Andreas Schmidt
Sandman – Barbara Hendricks
Dew Fairy – Eva Lind
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Jefferey Tate – conductor
EMI - 1990
January 7, 2023
January 21, 2023
January 14, 2023