Engelbert Humperdinck

Stage Direction | Lighting Design Sebastian Ritschel
Musical Director Andrea Sanguineti
Set Design | Costume Design Barbara Blaschke | Movie: Steffen Cieplik
Dramaturgy Ronny Scholz
Choir Katrin Schellenberg, Manuel Pujol
Premiere 15. November 2014 | GHT Görlitz


Hänsel Christel Loetzsch
Gretel Cristina Piccardi
The Witch Bernd Könnes
Father Ji-Su Park
Mother Patricia Bänsch
Sandman | Dewman Laura Scherwitzl
  Childrenchoir of the elementary school Schöpstal
  Neue Lausitzer Philharmonie



Jens Daniel Schubert - Sächsische Zeitung

...so lovely, you could eat it. Hansel and Gretel on the plate.

The musical theatre in Görlitz discovers new aspects in an old fairytale.

The round dance of pre-Christmas productions for families is now enriching the Gerhart-Hauptmann.theatre in Görlitz with “Hansel and Gretel”. The popular fairytale opera was played in a modern, excessive visual appearance with a thoughtful subtext, still being an entertaining fairytale and opera on a considerable level, exalting the imagination. [...]

Humperdinck, his lyric writing sister Wette and the children: that's a tricky thing. Some text-passages are hard to bear considering our today's understanding of childhood. And the music of Humperdinck made from a plain musical comedy to a full-grown great opera. Already the rich overture, when interpreted well, lets the heart of every music lover beat faster. To keep the attention of the children, should there be something happening.

The production team around stage director Sebastian Ritschel and stage designer Barbara Blaschke decided for a movie. Steffen Cieplik produced a video, which is projected on the second curtain, in the second half of the overture. It shows, that the plate is empty. Later delicious things and lesser desired dishes can be found on the plates. You can see how they are eaten and what is left over. This is fast, this is funny, but it seems to have hardly anything to do with either the fairytale, or the overture. After all Ritschel, who apparently likes to show secondary objects in big pictures, knows exactly how to let something appear. And the slogan “the plate is empty”, or as you can read on a campaign poster of “Brot für die Welt” “less is empty”, is a central theme throughout the evening. There is an oversized and broken plate in the broom maker's chamber, where Hansel and Gretel are distracting themselves with singing and romping around from their hunger. The broom is coherently a giant egg whip. In the dream scene first one child, then a couple, finally a hard to overlook crowd of children with empty plates are entering the stage, until the sandman is conjuring them a Christmas tree full of red apples. And even in the setting of the witch – a giant colourful plate full of oversized,  colourful candies made out of soft foamed plastic – the empty plate has an important part.

So Barbara Blaschke's setting has no cosy chamber, no realstic fairytale forest, no flavoursome gingerbread house. With the costumes she sticks, besides the drastically exaggerated witch and the dark coated parents, to a simple and timeless fairytale-style. However the fairytale works. Also because Ritschel guided his characters: the mannerly Gretel and the hyperactive Hansel, the severe and straight parents, the witch without restraint. He provides them with comprehensible differentiation and applies them with complex, contradictory, but human qualities. […]

Giant exultation at the premier.