Archive detail

Back to overview

Sun. Dec. 23, 2018, 4 p.m. - 6:15 p.m. Vienna

Engelbert Humperdinck

Hänsel und Gretel

Conductor: Axel Kober, Director: Adrian Noble
With Boaz Daniel, Donna Ellen, Margaret Plummer, Mariam Battistelli, Monika Bohinec

 
Cast
Synopsis
Gallery
Trailer
  • Engelbert Humperdinck  |  Musik
  • Adrian Noble  |  Director
  • Anthony Ward  |  Stage and costume design
  • Jean Kalman  |  Light Design
  • Denni Sayers  |  Choreography
  • Andrzej Goulding  |  Video
  • Axel Kober  |  Conductor

Axel Kober | Conductor

Born in Kronach (Upper Frankonia), AXEL KOBER completed his conducting studies at the University of Music in Würzburg. First steps of his career were for example the Oper Leipzig (MD between 2007 and 2009 and assistant GMD) and the  Nationaltheater Mannheim (principal Kapellmeister since 2003, since 2005/2006 temporary GMD). In Leipzig he also regularly conducted symphony concerts of the Gewandhaus orchestra. Guest performances during this time for example led him to the Staatstheater Nürnberg, the Wiener Volksoper, the Royal Opera Copenhagen, the Philharmonische Orchester Halle as well as to the NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg. Since 2009 he has been principal conductor and GMD of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein. With Tannhäuser, he guested at the Bayreuther Festspiele for the first time in 2013. In 2014 he was invited once again for Tannhäuser as well as for the Fliegende Holländer (as of 2015). Further guest conductings led him to the Deutsche Oper Berlin (Parsifal, Tannhäuser), the Hamburgische Staatsoper (La traviata, Ariadne auf Naxos, Carmen), the Theater Basel (Parsifal, Lohengrin). In 2014/2015, Axel Kober made his debut at the Opéra National du Rhin (Tristan und Isolde), in 2015/2016 he debuted at the Semperoper Dresden (Elektra) and at the Opernhaus Zürich (Fliegender Holländer).

Boaz Daniel | Peter Besenbinder

DANIEL BOAZ was born in Tel Aviv, studied in the University there, and then continued his vocal studies from 1996 to 1999 in the Conservatoire of Vienna. In 1999, he received the promotional prize in the Eberhard Waechter-Medaille in Vienna. In 1998, he became an ensemble member of the Wiener Staatsoper, where his repertoire includes, among others, works ranging from Conte d’Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Sharpless (Madama Butterfly), Belcore (L’elisir d’amore), Paolo (Simon Boccanegra), Marcello (La Bohème), Enrico (Lucia di Lammermoor), Kurwenal (Tristan und Isol­de), Lescaut (Manon Lescaut), Ford (Falstaff), Klingsor (Parsifal), Rangoni (Boris Godunow), Valentin (Faust), Rodrigo (Don Carlo), Jeletzki (Pique Dame), Sonora (La fanciulla del West), Heerrufer (Lohengrin) to Gunther (Götterdämmerung). He received repeated invitations to the ROH Covent Garden, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the New Israeli Opera, the Dresdner Semperoper, to Chicago, Turin, Salzburg, San Francisco, Frankfurt and Barcelona. Recently, he has celebrated success in the Lyric Opera of Chicago in Ernani, as well as in Don Giovanni in Graz, in Tel Aviv in Un ballo in maschera, and in Tristan und Isolde in Hamburg, Berlin and London.


 

Donna Ellen | Gertrud

DONNA ELLEN comes from Canada and studied singing at the Wilfrid Laurier University of her hometown. For two seasons, she sang at the Canada Opera Piccola under the care of Leopold Simoneau and Pierette Alarie, before she changed to the Opernstudio in Zurich. In1987, she became engaged with the Landestheater Linz, where she sang roles like the Queen of the Night, Blonde, and Zer­lina and sang in the premiere of Balduin Sulzers Proteus. Previous performances include among others, in Stuttgart, Geneva, Berlin, Bad Ischl, in the Musikverein and the Konzerthaus in Vienna. In 2004, she gave her debut at the Volksoper. Her debut at the Wiener Staatsoper, where she is an honorary ensemble member, was in 2003 as Helmwige. Since then, she has sang among others, Marzellina (Barbiere di Siviglia), Axinja (Lady Macbeth von Mzensk), Leitmetzerin (Rosenkavalier), Annina (Traviata), Curra (Forza del destino), Brünnhilde (Nibelungenring for children), Königin (Traumfresserchen), Berta (Pünktchen und Anton), Marcellina (Nozze di Figaro), Fekluša (Kátja Kabanová), Kar­tenaufschlägerin (Arabella), Aufseherin (Elektra), and Dirne (Aus einem Totenhaus), Giovanna (Rigoletto).  
 

Margaret Plummer | Hänsel

The Australian Mezzosoprano MARGARET PLUMMER completed her singing studies at the Sydney Conservatoire of Music. Furthermore, she is trained as a Jazz singer. She is a multiple prize-winner at opera competitions and visited the School of Music and Theater in Hannover in 2005. For a while, she was a member of the choir of the Opera Australia, before wtarting her career as a soloist. In this way, performances followed among others, at the Opera Australia and the Pinchgut Opera. In the 2015/2016 season, she will be the youngest scholar of the Opera Foundation Australia. Margaret Plummer has sang among others, Dorabella in Così fan tutte at the Pacific Opera and Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel at the Ozopera School‘s Company. At the Opera Australia, Margaret Plummer sang in Dido und Aeneas, in the Rosenkavalier and in Le Nozze di Figaro. She sang Knusperhexe in Hänsel und Gretel with the Sydney Symphony, Charlotte in Werther at the Lyric Opera of Melbourne, Phoebe in Rameaus Castor and Pollux at the Pinchgut Opera. At the Wiener Staatsoper she gave her debut as Tebaldo in Don Carlo.
 

Mariam Battistelli | Gretel

Soprano MARIAM BATTISTELLI was born in Ethiopia and studied at Campiani Conservatoire in Mantua. In 2010, she acted opposite Plácido Domingo and Ruggero Raimondi in the opera film Rigoletto in Mantua, conducted by Zubin Mehta. In 2014, she came third in Verona International Competition Maria Callas, and the following year she won a prize in the Franca Mattiucci International Vocal Competition. In Rome, she won the first prize in the International Opera Competition Ottavio Ziino. From 2013-2016, Mariam Battistelli studied at Centre de Perfeccionament Plácido Domingo at Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía in Valencia, where she sang in productions such as Manon Lescaut, L’incoronazione di Dario (Antonio Vivaldi) and Juditha triumphans (Antonio Vivaldi). Apart from this, the soprano performed at the world premiere of The Opera! in Muscat. Her work is not restricted to operas, but includes concerts, too. At Vienna State Opera, where Mariam Battistelli has been a member of the ensemble since the beginning of 2018, she made her debut as Pamina in The Magic Flute for Kids, and she has also sung Cinderella and the Flower Maiden.

Monika Bohinec | Knusperhexe

The mezzo-soprano Monika Bohinec studied at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and at the University for Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. As a student, she was a finalist and award winner of different competitions and a scholarship holder of the Richard Wagner Foundation and the Hilde Zadek Foundation.

In 2006, she made her debut as Clarissa in Die Liebe zu den drei Orangen at the Slovenian State Opera, where she appeared as Jezibaba in Rusalka, Konchakowna (Fürst Igor), Suzuki in Madama Butterfly and in the title role of Carmen.
In 2009 Monika Bohinec became ensemble member of the Mannheim National Theatre, where she sang Carmen, Sara di Nottingham (Roberto Devereux), Laura and Cieca (La Gioconda), Maddalena (Rigoletto), Giulietta (Les Contes d’Hoffmann) and Ulrica (Un ballo in maschera).

In the season 2011/2012 Monika Bohinec became ensemble member of the Vienna State Opera where she sang e.g. Larina, Grimgerde, Marthe, Farzana, Schenkenwirtin, Lola, Mary, Marcellina, Fenena, Ulrica, Suzuki, Margret, Madelon and Erste Norn.

Maria Nazarova | Sandmännchen

Coloratura soprano MARIA NAZAROVA was born in the Ukraine. She received her vocal arts and acting training at the Russian Academy for theatre arts in Moscow. Parallel to her education at the Academy, she was an actor at the Polish Theatre in Moscow and performed on several stages in Moscow. After obtaining her diploma studies with distinction, she completed her master studies with special focus on baroque music as well as lied and oratorio at the Mozarteum Salzburg in 2011. Maria Nazarova has performed as soloist in Europe, Russia, Great Britain and is multiple awardee of different international competitions. She performed in the ensemble of the Young Singers Project at the Salzburger Festspiele. She sang Taumännchen at the Wiener Volksoper, Lisa (La sonnambula) at the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz in Munich und Despina at the Bolschoi in Moscow. Since 2015 Maria Nazarova is ensemble member of the Wiener Staatsoper as well as NOVOMATIC scholar and has for example sung Despina, Clorinda, Oscar and Barbarina here.

Maria Nazarova | Taumännchen

Coloratura soprano MARIA NAZAROVA was born in the Ukraine. She received her vocal arts and acting training at the Russian Academy for theatre arts in Moscow. Parallel to her education at the Academy, she was an actor at the Polish Theatre in Moscow and performed on several stages in Moscow. After obtaining her diploma studies with distinction, she completed her master studies with special focus on baroque music as well as lied and oratorio at the Mozarteum Salzburg in 2011. Maria Nazarova has performed as soloist in Europe, Russia, Great Britain and is multiple awardee of different international competitions. She performed in the ensemble of the Young Singers Project at the Salzburger Festspiele. She sang Taumännchen at the Wiener Volksoper, Lisa (La sonnambula) at the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz in Munich und Despina at the Bolschoi in Moscow. Since 2015 Maria Nazarova is ensemble member of the Wiener Staatsoper as well as NOVOMATIC scholar and has for example sung Despina, Clorinda, Oscar and Barbarina here.

Ouverture London, Christmas circa 1890. A Victorian family gathers happily in the living room around the Christmas tree. The father surprises everyone with a mysterious, new device: a laterna magica, which projects all kinds of unfamiliar and wonderful pictures on the wall and also opens the door to a strange, fairy tale world ...  Act 1 Instead of carrying out the chores assigned to them, tormented by hunger the siblings Hansel and Gretel pass the time in the wretched hut that is their home by singing and dancing. They eagerly await the evening and with it the return of their parents, because today there will finally be something to eat before they go to bed: the children hope that their Mother will make a rice pudding using the milk given to them by a neighbour. But when the Mother finally comes home, the mood changes abruptly. Furious that Hansel and Gretel have spent their time playing together rather than making brooms and knitting stockings, she rushes over to the children to give them a beating. In doing so, she accidentally knocks the jug with the milk in it off the table. Hansel’s snickering at her clumsiness, the jug fragments on the floor and the spilled milk cause the Mother to lose her temper, and she sends the children out into the nearby forest to pick strawberries. Left alone, she laments the poverty and hunger her family suffers and drops wearily off to sleep. Awakened by her cheery, somewhat drunken husband, who for once has been able to sell all his brooms and has bought a big supply of various groceries with the proceeds. But their joy is short-lived. Dismayed that his children have been sent out alone, the Father tells his wife about the man-eating Witch who lives in Ilsenstein, a particularly dark and notorious part of the forest. Filled with concern, the parents rush out of the hut to find Hansel and Gretel before nightfall and bring them home.  Act 2 While Hansel picks strawberries, filling his basket to the brim, Gretel makes a wreath. Happy that this time they have done as their Mother asked, they become absorbed in all kinds of games and forget to go home on time. To make matters even worse, before they realize what they are doing, the two of them gradually eat all the strawberries they had collected. Horrified, they set out to look for more, but notice full of trepidation that they have got lost in the evening darkness of the forest. The good Sandman then appears and sprinkles sand in their eyes. Huddled together, Hansel and Gretel go to sleep after saying their evening prayers. In a beautiful dream, fourteen angels hover around them, and they have a reassuring sense of death and new life.  Act 3 The next morning, Hansel and Gretel are awakened by the Dew Fairy and discover the Witch’s gingerbread house. When Hansel breaks off a piece, the Witch’s voice is heard from within the house. However, since nothing more threatening happens, the children start to nibble at the house, until the Witch emerges. At first she seems to be friendly, but she soon reveals her true colours: she casts a spell on Hansel and Gretel and locks Hansel in a cage, where she plans to fatten him up. In exuberant anticipation of eating the children, the Witch clambers onto her broomstick and for some time flies ecstatically through the air. After her ride, she tries to persuade Gretel to look into the oven. Her plan to push the unsuspecting girl into the oven and bake her into gingerbread does not succeed; warned by her brother, Gretel pretends to be stupid and asks the Witch to show her how to look into the oven. Impatiently, the Witch agrees to Gretel’s request and leans far into the oven. At that moment, Hansel and Gretel push her in, and she perishes miserably. Hardly has the Witch died than the many gingerbread men standing around the house turn into boys and girls. They all fell into the Witch’s trap and were turned into gingerbread in the oven: but now the spell is broken. Hansel and Gretel stroke the children and with the help of the magic wand break the last spell. The grateful children dance joyously around their rescuers. A little later, Hansel and Gretel’s parents find the happy group, having been searching for their children through the night. Grateful and filled with joy they sing together: “When our need is at its greatest, the Lord our God holds out his hand.”