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Seattle Opera.

Hansel & Gretel

Oct. 15-30, 2016

"Marvelously witty! Truly heartwarming." –The Seattle Times

Overview

By Engelbert Humperdinck

"Marvelously witty! A fun and feisty trip through the woods… The two casts sang superbly and acted with skill and panache… Excellent and truly heartwarming." –The Seattle Times

ONCE UPON A TIME…
…An intrepid pair of siblings took a dreamlike journey to unexpected places. The iconic Brothers Grimm story leaps from page to stage with a provocative new-to-Seattle staging that playfully addresses contemporary questions of consumerism. The Daily Telegraph calls the production “very funny and inventive—five stars!” Filled with cinematic orchestration and sprinkled with satirical humor, this enchanting confection features an eye-catching production design unlike any fairy tale you've ever seen.

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Screenshot from the Hansel & Gretel Preview.

Listen to the music

The children's chorus in Hansel & Gretel. Copyright Glyndeborne Productions Ltd. Photo: Bill Cooper.

In German with English subtitles | at McCaw Hall 
Approximate Running Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes, with 1 intermission
Evenings at 7:30 PM. Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM.

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Synopsis

ACT ONE

The broom-maker’s house
Hansel and Gretel are doing chores. Both are bored and hungry, and to cheer themselves up they start to dance. Their games are interrupted by their Mother, who is angry to find them playing instead of working. In her anger she knocks over the milk jug, losing what was to have been supper. She sends them into the forest to gather strawberries for their meal. Alone, the Mother laments their precarious existence, but is soon interrupted by the return of her husband. Irritated to find him tipsy, her mood brightens when he produces a sack full of food. When he enquires after Hansel and Gretel, he is alarmed to hear they are in the forest: he warns of the Witch who lives there, and both parents set out to search for their children.


ACT TWO

The wood
Hansel and Gretel pick and eat strawberries. When night falls they realise they are lost, and are frightened by the mysterious shapes in the mist, but a Sandman appears and settles them. Hansel and Gretel say their evening prayers and go to sleep. Angels appear to guard them from harm.


ACT THREE

The Witch’s house
At dawn the Dew Fairy wakes Hansel and Gretel. They notice a house not far away, but when they begin to tamper with it, the Witch emerges and captures them, casting a spell. She imprisons Hansel, telling Gretel that her brother needs to be fattened up. She also casts a spell on Gretel, in order that the girl may help her with the oven. Gretel makes clever use of the Witch’s spell to free Hansel. As the Witch demonstrates to Gretel how to check the oven, the children take advantage of the situation. At the Witch’s demise, the children she had previously captured are freed, and they thank Hansel and Gretel for saving them. The Mother and Father appear, and the family is reunited.

 

Synopsis provided by Glyndebourne Productions Ltd

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Hansel & Gretel - Dig Deeper

When it premiered, Hansel & Gretel was a runaway success, but who was Engelbert Humperdinck? And how do you tell a modern day fairy tale? Learn about the music and history of Hansel & Gretel in our in-depth, multimedia Spotlight Guide.

View Spotlight Guide

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Cast

Ashley Emerson

Gretel

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Gretel, Hansel and Gretel

Hometown: Bangor, ME
Seattle Opera Debut: Young Amelia, Amelia (’10)
Recently: Barbarina, The Marriage of Figaro (Metropolitan Opera); Blonde, The Abduction from the Seraglio (Des Moines Metro Opera); Sister Constance, Dialogues of the Carmelites (Washington National Opera)
Upcoming: Cunégonde, Candide (Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse and Opéra National de Bordeaux); Flora, The Turn of The Screw (Dallas Opera)

Last updated: October 2016

Ashley Emerson

Gretel

Oct. 15, 22, 26, & 29

Anya Matanovic

Gretel

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Gretel, Hansel and Gretel

Hometown: Issaquah, WA
Seattle Opera Young Artist 2005/06, 2006/07
Seattle Opera Debut: Nannetta, Falstaff (’10) 
Previously at Seattle Opera: Marzelline, Fidelio (’12); First Lady, The Magic Flute (’11)
Recently: Violetta, La traviata (Boston Lyric Opera); Adele, Die Fledermaus (New Orleans Opera); Stella, A Streetcar Named Desire (Kentucky Opera)
Upcoming: Anne Trulove, The Rake’s Progress (Boston Lyric Opera); Mabel, The Pirates of Penzance (Lyric Opera of Kansas City); Soloist, Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Cleveland Orchestra) 

Last updated: October 2016

Anya Matanovic

Gretel

Oct. 16, 19, 28, & 30

Sasha Cooke

Hansel

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Hansel, Hansel and Gretel

Seattle Opera Young Artist 2006/07
Seattle Opera Debut: Meg Page, Falstaff (’10)
Hometown: College Station, TX
Recently: Magdalene, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (San Francisco Opera); Das Lied von der Erde (Carnegie Hall); Medoro, Orlando (Barbican Hall)
Upcoming: Soloist, Verdi’s Requiem (Houston Grand Opera); Soloist, The Dream of Gerontius (Seattle Symphony); Laurene Powell Jobs, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs (Santa Fe Opera)

Last updated: October 2016

Sasha Cooke

Hansel

Oct. 15, 22, 26, & 29

Sarah Larsen

Hansel

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Hansel, Hansel and Gretel

Hometown: Roseville, MN
Seattle Opera Young Artist 2011/12, 2012/13
Seattle Opera Debut: Mercédès, Carmen (’11) 
Previously at Seattle Opera: The Composer, Ariadne auf Naxos (’15); The Secretary, The Consul (’14); Maddalena, Rigoletto (’14)
Recently: Suzuki, Madama Butterfly (Berkshire Opera Festival); Bianca, The Rape of Lucretia (Wolf Trap Opera); Donna Elvira, Don Giovanni (Arizona Opera)
Upcoming: Käthchen, Werther (Metropolitan Opera); Soloist, Handel’s Messiah and Bach's Mass in B Minor (Fresno Philharmonic)

Last updated: October 2016

Sarah Larsen

Hansel

Oct. 16, 19, 28, & 30

John Easterlin

Witch

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: The Witch, Hansel and Gretel

Hometown: New York, NY
Seattle Opera Debut: Jaquino, Fidelio (’03)
Recently: Monostatos, The Magic Flute (Metropolitan Opera); Andy Warhol, The Perfect American (Teatro Real); Herod, Salome (Wiener Staatsoper)
Upcoming:  Ubaldo Piangi, The Phantom of the Opera (Majestic Theatre, Broadway); Tenor Soloist, Messiah (Oratorio Society of New York and Toledo Symphony)

Last updated: October 2016

John Easterlin

Witch

Oct. 15, 22, 26, & 29

Peter Marsh

Witch

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: The Witch, Hansel and Gretel

Hometown: Fredonia, New York
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Pang, Turandot (Bregenz Festival); Walter, The Passenger (Wiener Festwochen); Mime, Siegfried (Oper Frankfurt)
Upcoming: Triquet, Eugene Onegin; Monostatos, The Magic Flute; and Matteo, Arabella (Oper Frankfurt)

Last updated: October 2016

Peter Marsh

Witch

Seattle Opera Debut
Oct. 16, 19, 28, & 30

Marcy Stonikas

Gertrude

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Mother, Hansel and Gretel

Hometown: Elmhurst, IL
Seattle Opera Young Artist 2009/10, 2010/11 
Seattle Opera Debut: Second Lady, The Magic Flute (’11)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Prima Donna/Ariadne, Ariadne auf Naxos (’15); Tosca, Tosca (’15); Magda Sorel, The Consul (’14)
Recently: Third Norn, Götterdämmerung and Gerhilde, Die Walküre (Washington National Opera)
Upcoming: Turandot, Turandot (Atlanta Opera and Opera Naples)

Last updated: October 2016

Marcy Stonikas

Gertrude

Oct. 15, 16, 19, 22, 26, 28, 29, & 30

Mark Walters

Peter

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Father, Hansel and Gretel

Hometown: Jacksonville, NC 
Seattle Opera Debut: Don Giovanni, Don Giovanni (’14)
Recently: Mark Torrance, The Shining (Minnesota Opera); Scarpia, Tosca (Minnesota Opera); Germont, La traviata (Finger Lakes Opera)
Upcoming: Soloist, Messiah (Handel Oratorio Society); Scarpia, Tosca (Opera Tampa)

Last updated: October 2016

Mark Walters

Peter

Oct. 15, 16, 19, 22, 26, 28, 29, & 30

Amanda Opuszynski

Sandman, Dew Fairy

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Sandman/Dew Fairy, Hansel and Gretel; Papagena, The Magic Flute

Soprano (Manchester, CT)
Seattle Opera Young Artist: 2010/11, 2011/12
Seattle Opera Debut: Frasquita, Carmen (’11)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Barbarina, The Marriage of Figaro (’16); Naiad, Ariadne auf Naxos (’15)
Recently: Micäela, Carmen (St. Petersburg Opera); Musetta, La bohème (South Dakota Symphony); Clorinda, La Cenerentola (Boston Youth Symphony)
Upcoming: Bess Erne, Riders of the Purple Sage (Arizona Opera); Papagena, The Magic Flute (Seattle Opera); Soprano Soloist, Handel’s Messiah (Seattle Symphony Orchestra)

Last updated: October 2016

Amanda Opuszynski

Sandman, Dew Fairy

Oct. 15, 16, 19, 22, 26, 28, 29, & 30

Cast

Creative Team

Laurent Pelly

Director

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Hansel and Gretel

Hometown: Paris, France
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Don Pasquale (San Francisco Opera); Béatrice et Bénedict (Glyndebourne Opera); Le médecin malgré lui (Opéra des Nations, Geneva)​
Upcoming: The Golden Cockerel (La Monnaie/De Munt,​ Teatro Real Madrid, Opéra national de Lorraine); ​Viva la mamma! (Opéra de Lyon)​

Last updated: October 2016

Laurent Pelly

Director

Seattle Opera Debut

Christian Räth

Revival Director

At Seattle Opera 2016/17: Hansel and Gretel

Hometown: Hamburg, Germany
Seattle Opera Debut: Revival Director, Billy Budd (’01); Assistant Director, Tristan und Isolde (’98)
Recently: The Italian Girl in Algiers (Portland Opera); Macbeth (Wiener Staatsoper); Iolanta (Dallas Opera)
Upcoming: Der Freischütz (Wiener Staatsoper)

Last updated: September 2016

Christian Räth

Revival Director

James Bonas

Revival Director

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Hansel and Gretel

Hometown: London, Great Britain
Seattle Opera Debut
R
ecently: The Tales of Hoffmann (English Touring Opera); Ariodante (London Handel Festival); wonder.land (National Theatre London, ​Theatre du Châtelet)
Upcoming: L’enfant et les sortilèges (Opéra de Lyon​, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo)​

Last updated: September 2016

James Bonas

Revival Director

Seattle Opera Debut

Sebastian Lang-Lessing

Conductor

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Hansel and Gretel

Hometown: Berlin, Germany
Seattle Opera Debut: International Wagner Competition and Speight Celebration (’14)
Previously at Seattle Opera: The Flying Dutchman (’16)
Music Director, San Antonio Symphony Orchestra
Recently: Il trovatore and Madama Butterfly (Opera San Antonio); Der Rosenkavalier (National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing)
Upcoming: Dead Man Walking (Royal Danish Opera)

Last updated: October 2016

Sebastian Lang-Lessing

Conductor

Barbara de Limburg

Set Designer

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Hansel and Gretel

Hometown: Brussels, Belgium
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Béatrice et Bénedict (Glyndebourne Festival); Idomeneo (Opéra National du Rhin)​; Hansel and Gretel (Angers Nantes Opéra​)
Upcoming: The Golden Cockerel (La Monnaie/De Munt; Teatro Real de Madrid; Opéra national de Lorraine)

Last updated: October 2016

Barbara de Limburg

Set Designer

Seattle Opera Debut

Laurent Pelly

Costume Designer

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Hansel and Gretel

Hometown: Paris, France
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Don Pasquale (San Francisco Opera); Béatrice et Bénedict (Glyndebourne Opera); Le médecin malgré lui (Opéra des Nations, Geneva)​
Upcoming: The Golden Cockerel (La Monnaie/De Munt,​ Teatro Real Madrid, Opéra national de Lorraine); ​Viva la mamma! (Opéra de Lyon)​

Last updated: October 2016

Laurent Pelly

Costume Designer

Seattle Opera Debut

Joel Adam

Lighting Designer

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Hansel and Gretel

Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: King Carrot (Opéra de Lyon); The Elixir of Love (Opéra Bastille Paris); Le médecin malgré lui (Grand Théâtre de Genève )
Upcoming: The Love for Three Oranges (Aalto-Musikteater Essen); The Golden Cockerel (La Monnaie Bruxelles, Teatro Real Madrid)

Last updated: October 2016

Joel Adam

Lighting Designer

Seattle Opera Debut

Creative Team

Orchestra & Youth Chorus

Orchestra

Violin I
Cordula Merks, Concertmaster
Mariel Bailey
Blayne Barnes
Eugene Bazhanov
Cecelia Poellein Buss
Kelly Farris
Adrianna Hulscher
Mae Lin, Asst. Concertmaster
Victoria Parker
Joy Rhee
Clark Story
John Weller

Violin II
Michael Miropolsky, Principal
Natasha Bazhanov
Brittany Boulding Breeden, Asst. Principal
Stephen Bryant
Linda Cole
Xiao-po Fei
Artur Girsky
Kimberly Houglum
Andrew Yeung
Kim Zabelle

Viola
Arie Schachter, Principal
Mara Gearman, Assistant Principal
Penelope Crane
Wesley Dyring
Allison Farkas
Joseph Gottesman
Laura Renz
Rachel Swerdlow

Cello
Eric Han, Principal
Bruce Bailey
Roberta Downey
Walter Gray, Assistant Principal
Emily Hu
Charles Jacot

Bass
Joseph Kaufman, Principal
Ted Botsford
Travis Gore, Assistant Principal
Todd Larsen

Flute
Jeffrey Barker, Principal
Judith Kriewall

Piccolo
Wendy Wilhelm

Oboe
Ben Hausmann, Principal
Stefan Farkas

English Horn
Stefan Farkas

Clarinet
Ben Lulich, Principal
Sean Osborn

Bass Clarinet
Eric Jacobs

Bassoon
Paul Rafanelli, Principal
Michael Gamburg

Horn
Jeff Fair, Principal
Cara Kizer, Asst. Principal
Jonathan Karschney
John Turman
Joshua Paulus

Trumpet
David Gordon, Principal
Vincent Green

Trombone
Ko-ichiro Yamamoto, Principal
David Ritt
Stephen Fissel

Tuba
Jonathan Hill, Principal

Timpani
Michael Crusoe, Principal

Percussion
Michael Werner, Principal
Michael Clark
Rob Tucker

Harp
Valerie Muzzolini Gordon, Principal

Personnel Manager
Scott Wilson

Assistant Personnel Manager
Keith Higgins

The Orchestra is composed of members of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. Rotating members of the string section are listed alphabetically.

 

Youth Chorus

Emily Amesquita
Abby Assadi
Rahul Bothra
Anderson Bull
Zoe Foster
Elijah Goodman
Ines Kaminski

Barrett Lhamon
Johanna Mergener
Ava Messinger
Leilani Nitkey
Ian Prosser
Emili Rice
Olivia Rosoff

Teddy Shipley
Samantha Victor
Ilsa Weigel
Sebastian Weigel
Christian West
Izzy Woods

Orchestra & Youth Chorus

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All performances take place at McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer Street, Seattle. Join our email list to receive personalized alerts with updates on traffic, dining, and parking for your specific performance, or choose a topic below to learn more.

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Sponsors

2016/17 Season Sponsor

Seattle Opera Guild
In memory of Marian E. Lackovich and Captain Louis J. Lackovich

Production Sponsor

Microsoft

Main photo © Philip Newton | Photos © Jacob Lucas, © Philip Newton, © Jacob Lucas