Classical Notes: Children’s classic has a dark heart

The deceptively beguiling Hansel and Gretel is getting a revival from Irish National Opera for a nationwide tour this month and next

9th February, 2020
Classical Notes: Children’s classic has a dark heart
Amelie Metcalfe, who plays The Lost Child in Hansel and Gretel, with Carolyn Dobbin, who plays the witch. Picture: Ros Kavanagh

It may look like a hangover from the Christmas pantomime season, but Engelbert Humperdinck’s (no, not that one) masterpiece Hansel and Gretel – a fairytale opera once described as “emphatically not for children” has just come out of the blocks for a nationwide tour, beginning at the Abbey Theatre for five performances and then touring nine major provincial venues.

Irish National Opera describes it thus: “A compelling three-act production reimagined in...

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