Hansel & Gretel COC banner

HANSEL & GRETEL

Engelbert Humperdinck
To

Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts

Performance is approximately two hours and 15 minutes, including one intermission.

#COCGingerbread

What makes Hansel & Gretel so special?

This Hansel & Gretel is a modern fairytale: Canadian director Joel Ivany — founder of acclaimed indie opera company Against the Grain Theatre — puts a new spin on Humperdinck’s winter favourite with innovative digital storytelling and video projections that usher this classic straight into present-day Toronto.

Hansel & Gretel’s music combines nursery rhymes with rustic folk tunes, making it an accessible first opera for children and adults alike. Yet it’s also layered with orchestral complexity inspired by Richard Wagner, the German composer who revolutionized opera in the 19th century. 

Youth Pricing Available
Share your love of opera with 50% off* tickets for young patrons (aged 15 or under).


Credits

Sung in German with English SURTITLESTM

Download the 2020 Winter House Program.




CAST AND CREATIVE TEAMS

Conductor Johannes Debus
Director Joel Ivany
Set & Projection Designer S. Katy Tucker
Costume Designer Ming Wong
Lighting Designer JAX Messenger
Price Family Chorus Master Sandra Horst
Dramaturg Katherine Syer


Hansel Emily Fons
Gretel Simone Osborne
Peter Russell Braun
Gertrude Krisztina Szabó
The Witch Michael Colvin
Sandman/Dew Fairy Anna-Sophie Neher

New COC co-production with the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

With the COC Orchestra & Canadian Children's Opera Company

The Story

THE STORY

Hansel and Gretel are sent into the woods to find food for their family’s supper, but soon lose their way. Exhausted, they fall asleep – and awake to find a gingerbread house that seems too good to be true.


SYNOPSIS

ACT I

Alone at home, Hansel works on the family trade – making brooms – while Gretel knits stockings. They’re both horribly hungry, which distracts them from their chores.

Gretel comforts her brother by showing him milk that a neighbour has given them for their supper. They dance happily, forgetting about their hunger and their chores, but are interrupted by the return of their mother, Gertrude, who is upset that they haven’t finished their work. As she scolds them, she accidentally spills the milk and insists the children go out into the woods to forage for strawberries.

Their father Peter returns home. To Gertrude’s delight, it turns out he has sold enough brooms to buy food for them all – but their relief is short-lived when Peter realizes she’s sent Hansel and Gretel out into the woods, where he knows a dangerous Witch lives. They rush off to find their children and bring them safely back home.

ACT II

In the woods, Hansel picks strawberries while Gretel makes a garland of flowers. All is well while they eat their berries together, but night soon falls and they run out of food. Alone and lost in the dark forest, the children become frightened.

The Sandman appears, singing to them and sprinkling magical sand on their eyes, which makes them drowsy. They say their evening prayer and fall asleep. Angels appear in their dreams and comfort them with song.

ACT III

The Dew Fairy arrives to rouse the children. When they wake, they notice a gingerbread house, which tempts their empty stomachs. The Witch appears and takes advantage of Hansel and Gretel’s hunger to capture them both.

She puts a spell on Hansel and even starts to get ready to eat him, but Gretel overhears her plan and sets her brother free. When the Witch asks her to check if the oven is hot enough yet, Gretel claims she doesn’t know how to look and asks the Witch to show her. The Witch falls for Gretel’s trick and peers into the oven. The children shove her inside and the oven explodes, which brings all of the Witch’s enchanted gingerbread children back to life.

Hansel and Gretel’s mother and father finally arrive at the house. The family is reunited and safe at last, and everyone celebrates their good fortune.

Listen



Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel. Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (Gretel), Elisabeth Grümmer (Hansel). Herbert von Karajan, conductor, with the Philharmonia Orchestra, 1953. EMI

PHOTOS





(Top to bottom, left to right): All production photos from the Canadian Opera Company's Hansel & Gretel, 2020; Emily Fons as Hansel and Simone Osborne as Gretel; Simone Osborne as Gretel, Emily Fons as Hansel, and Michael Colvin as The Witch; A scene from the Canadian Opera Company's Hansel & Gretel, 2020; (foreground) Krisztina Szabó as Gertrude and Russell Braun as Peter, (background) Simone Osborne as Gretel and Emily Fons as Hansel. All photos: Michael Cooper.

WATCH

Trailer | Humperdinck's Hansel & Gretel, February 2020

Our new Hansel & Gretel uses digital tech to reimagine the classic fairytale in a modern-day, wonder-filled Toronto.



Hansel & Gretel
: Act III Excerpt | Emily Fons & Simone Osborne, February 2020

After discovering The Witch’s house, Hansel (Emily Fons) and Gretel (Simone Osborne) enjoy a feast of delicious cakes in this excerpt from Act III of Hansel & Gretel. The COC Orchestra is conducted by Johannes Debus.



Hansel & Gretel
: Reimagined | The Vision, January 2020

Over the next few weeks, we’ll introduce you to the creative minds behind Hansel & Gretel to show just what it takes to bring a new production to the stage. In this video, we take you behind the scenes of Hansel & Gretel with director Joel Ivany and assistant director Julie McIsaac, as they explore this new production’s innovative digital storytelling, community themes, and contemporary Toronto setting.



Hansel & Gretel
: Reimagined | Music & Character, February 2020

For soprano Simone Osborne, playing Gretel is all about connecting with her inner child while singing some of the most beautiful music ever composed.



Hansel & Gretel
: Reimagined | The Costumes, January 2020

Over the next few weeks, we’ll introduce you to the creative minds behind Hansel & Gretel to show just what it takes to bring a new production to the stage. First up, meet costume designer Ming Wong, whose whimsical designs give the classic fairytale a 21st-century update.



Project Breadcrumbs | Hansel & Gretel Explore Toronto, December 2019

We spotted Hansel & Gretel out and about in Toronto by following their signature trail of breadcrumbs! Don't miss them in our magical new production of Hansel & Gretel this winter.



Hansel & Gretel
: "Abendsegen" | Anna-Sophie Neher & Simone McIntosh, August 2019

This performance from our 2019/2020 Season Reveal, features soprano Anna-Sophie Neher (Gretel) and mezzo-soprano Simone McIntosh (Hansel)The COC Orchestra is conducted by Johannes Debus.


READ

Your Guide to Humperdinck's Hansel & Gretel

Joel Ivany, one of Canada’s most inventive directors, gives Hansel & Gretel’s timeless themes a contemporary twist, setting the action in modern-day Toronto. 

READ MORE

  • Sung in German with English SURTITLESTM

    Download the 2020 Winter House Program.



    CAST AND CREATIVE TEAMS

    Conductor Johannes Debus
    Director Joel Ivany
    Set & Projection Designer S. Katy Tucker
    Costume Designer Ming Wong
    Lighting Designer JAX Messenger
    Price Family Chorus Master Sandra Horst
    Dramaturg Katherine Syer


    Hansel Emily Fons
    Gretel Simone Osborne
    Peter Russell Braun
    Gertrude Krisztina Szabó
    The Witch Michael Colvin
    Sandman/Dew Fairy Anna-Sophie Neher

    New COC co-production with the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

    With the COC Orchestra & Canadian Children's Opera Company

  • THE STORY

    Hansel and Gretel are sent into the woods to find food for their family’s supper, but soon lose their way. Exhausted, they fall asleep – and awake to find a gingerbread house that seems too good to be true.


    SYNOPSIS

    ACT I

    Alone at home, Hansel works on the family trade – making brooms – while Gretel knits stockings. They’re both horribly hungry, which distracts them from their chores.

    Gretel comforts her brother by showing him milk that a neighbour has given them for their supper. They dance happily, forgetting about their hunger and their chores, but are interrupted by the return of their mother, Gertrude, who is upset that they haven’t finished their work. As she scolds them, she accidentally spills the milk and insists the children go out into the woods to forage for strawberries.

    Their father Peter returns home. To Gertrude’s delight, it turns out he has sold enough brooms to buy food for them all – but their relief is short-lived when Peter realizes she’s sent Hansel and Gretel out into the woods, where he knows a dangerous Witch lives. They rush off to find their children and bring them safely back home.

    ACT II

    In the woods, Hansel picks strawberries while Gretel makes a garland of flowers. All is well while they eat their berries together, but night soon falls and they run out of food. Alone and lost in the dark forest, the children become frightened.

    The Sandman appears, singing to them and sprinkling magical sand on their eyes, which makes them drowsy. They say their evening prayer and fall asleep. Angels appear in their dreams and comfort them with song.

    ACT III

    The Dew Fairy arrives to rouse the children. When they wake, they notice a gingerbread house, which tempts their empty stomachs. The Witch appears and takes advantage of Hansel and Gretel’s hunger to capture them both.

    She puts a spell on Hansel and even starts to get ready to eat him, but Gretel overhears her plan and sets her brother free. When the Witch asks her to check if the oven is hot enough yet, Gretel claims she doesn’t know how to look and asks the Witch to show her. The Witch falls for Gretel’s trick and peers into the oven. The children shove her inside and the oven explodes, which brings all of the Witch’s enchanted gingerbread children back to life.

    Hansel and Gretel’s mother and father finally arrive at the house. The family is reunited and safe at last, and everyone celebrates their good fortune.




  • Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel. Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (Gretel), Elisabeth Grümmer (Hansel). Herbert von Karajan, conductor, with the Philharmonia Orchestra, 1953. EMI






  • (Top to bottom, left to right): All production photos from the Canadian Opera Company's Hansel & Gretel, 2020; Emily Fons as Hansel and Simone Osborne as Gretel; Simone Osborne as Gretel, Emily Fons as Hansel, and Michael Colvin as The Witch; A scene from the Canadian Opera Company's Hansel & Gretel, 2020; (foreground) Krisztina Szabó as Gertrude and Russell Braun as Peter, (background) Simone Osborne as Gretel and Emily Fons as Hansel. All photos: Michael Cooper.

  • Trailer | Humperdinck's Hansel & Gretel, February 2020

    Our new Hansel & Gretel uses digital tech to reimagine the classic fairytale in a modern-day, wonder-filled Toronto.



    Hansel & Gretel
    : Act III Excerpt | Emily Fons & Simone Osborne, February 2020

    After discovering The Witch’s house, Hansel (Emily Fons) and Gretel (Simone Osborne) enjoy a feast of delicious cakes in this excerpt from Act III of Hansel & Gretel. The COC Orchestra is conducted by Johannes Debus.



    Hansel & Gretel
    : Reimagined | The Vision, January 2020

    Over the next few weeks, we’ll introduce you to the creative minds behind Hansel & Gretel to show just what it takes to bring a new production to the stage. In this video, we take you behind the scenes of Hansel & Gretel with director Joel Ivany and assistant director Julie McIsaac, as they explore this new production’s innovative digital storytelling, community themes, and contemporary Toronto setting.



    Hansel & Gretel
    : Reimagined | Music & Character, February 2020

    For soprano Simone Osborne, playing Gretel is all about connecting with her inner child while singing some of the most beautiful music ever composed.



    Hansel & Gretel
    : Reimagined | The Costumes, January 2020

    Over the next few weeks, we’ll introduce you to the creative minds behind Hansel & Gretel to show just what it takes to bring a new production to the stage. First up, meet costume designer Ming Wong, whose whimsical designs give the classic fairytale a 21st-century update.



    Project Breadcrumbs | Hansel & Gretel Explore Toronto, December 2019

    We spotted Hansel & Gretel out and about in Toronto by following their signature trail of breadcrumbs! Don't miss them in our magical new production of Hansel & Gretel this winter.



    Hansel & Gretel
    : "Abendsegen" | Anna-Sophie Neher & Simone McIntosh, August 2019

    This performance from our 2019/2020 Season Reveal, features soprano Anna-Sophie Neher (Gretel) and mezzo-soprano Simone McIntosh (Hansel)The COC Orchestra is conducted by Johannes Debus.


  • Your Guide to Humperdinck's Hansel & Gretel

    Joel Ivany, one of Canada’s most inventive directors, gives Hansel & Gretel’s timeless themes a contemporary twist, setting the action in modern-day Toronto. 

    READ MORE


Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts capacity: 2,070
Ticket prices do not include service fees, $9 CAD.
*Promo not valid for Grand Ring.

HANSEL & GRETEL

Engelbert Humperdinck
To

Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts

Performance is approximately two hours and 15 minutes, including one intermission.

#COCGingerbread

What makes Hansel & Gretel so special?

This Hansel & Gretel is a modern fairytale: Canadian director Joel Ivany — founder of acclaimed indie opera company Against the Grain Theatre — puts a new spin on Humperdinck’s winter favourite with innovative digital storytelling and video projections that usher this classic straight into present-day Toronto.

Hansel & Gretel’s music combines nursery rhymes with rustic folk tunes, making it an accessible first opera for children and adults alike. Yet it’s also layered with orchestral complexity inspired by Richard Wagner, the German composer who revolutionized opera in the 19th century. 

Youth Pricing Available
Share your love of opera with 50% off* tickets for young patrons (aged 15 or under).

Phone: 416-363-8231

Toll Free: 1-800-250-4653

Contact Page

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