Diana Damrau and Angelika Kirchschlager star in the acclaimed 2008 production of Humperdinck’s famous fairytale opera, in the company of two of Britain’s most revered musical figures: Thomas Allen, playing the role of the Father, and the legendary conductor Colin Davis. Directors Patrice Caurier and Moshe Leiser combine their characteristic wit and a dash of deliciously dark comedy with the opera’s fairytale charm. Humperdinck’s music mixes catchy folk-like songs with sumptuous instrumental colour, making the result as tunefully approachable, musically memorable and visually delightful as opera gets. Filmed in High Definition and recorded in full Surround Sound.
‘Angelika Kirchschlager’s tousled, boyish Hänsel and Diana Damrau’s Gretel are dramatically convincing and vocally superb, while their parents, excellently sung and played by Elizabeth Connell and Thomas Allen, earn our sympathy as well as our censure. Pumeza Matshikiza’s goblin-like Sandman is truly magical and Anita Watson’s feather-dusting Dew Fairy another amusing creation. Colin Davis, unafraid to relish the icing on the cake, draws a warm, effulgent sound from the orchestra.’ Evening Standard
Illustrated synopsis & animated cast gallery.
Interview with Colin Davis.
“Humperdinck's adorable opera here receives treatment so affectionate that the two children are more likely to be killed with kindness than by the Witch. The cast is strong, with Angelika Kirchschlager a much more credible boy than Diana Damrau is a girl... Thomas Allen is a superb Father, and Elizabeth Connell equally good as Mother.”
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