Dutch National Opera presents

Hänsel und Gretel Engelbert Humperdinck (1854-1921)

This show was to been seen in December 2015

World-famous fairytale gets a new look

Duration 2:20

Breaks 1

By Engelbert Humperdinck

Language German

Surtitles English & Dutch


Engelbert Humperdinck
Märchenspiel in drei Bildern
Libretto by Adelheid Wette, after the Grimm brothers' fairy tale of the same name
Word premiere 23 December 1893, Hoftheater, Weimar


New production
Co-production with Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, Canadian Opera Company Toronto and Lyric
Premiere 3 December 2015

In short

This new variation on the universal story of Hansel and Gretel takes the fairy out of fairytale! There is not a dark forest or gingerbread house to be seen. The production takes us to a Brazilian rubbish tip, which is brought to life by the children playing among the junk. After all, a bit of imagination is all you need to create another world – a world where you can live ‘happily ever after’.

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The young Dutch director Lotte de Beer looks at this fairytale through contemporary eyes. For Dutch National Opera, she previously directed Waiting for Miss Monroe and the children’s opera Ringetje. In 2015 she won the International Opera Award in the category 'Newcomer'.

"A masterpiece", is what Richard Strauss called the opera Hänsel und Gretel, which is stylistically in line with operas by Wagner and Strauss previously presented here.The work combines a great wealth of timbres with unaffected melodies that are reminiscent of folk songs.

Principal conductor Marc Albrecht: “For me, Hänsel und Gretel is one of the most beautiful opera compositions ever. At first sight, it is a piece for children, but it also offers adult listeners insight into their own dreams, fears and desires”.


After this performance, there will be a collection for KidsRights. Director Lotte de Beer: "In my production of Hänsel und Gretel, it is the power of the children’s imagination that rescues them from terrible situations. It provides a way out and a possibility to escape reality for a little while. That’s what makes children so strong". It is precisely this urge for survival that is at the heart of KidsRights, a Dutch organisation that stands up for the world's most vulnerable children and promotes and supports their rights.



A candy mountain of 3 meters high, a house in the shape of a cornflakes box and a landfill over the entire width of the stage are all part of the decor in the opera Hänsel und Gretel. Take a look into our decor studio.
The innovative and exciting production Hänsel und Gretel starts with a beautiful video. It has been made in our decor workshop. See the making-of here.

Lotte de Beer


In 2009 (just after graduating from the Amsterdam University of the Arts), Dutch director Lotte de Beer won the Ton Lutz Award for most talented director. In 2015, she won the International Opera Award in the ‘Newcomer’ category.

Team, Cast and Chorus

Marc Albrecht
Stage Director 
Lotte de Beer
Set Designer 
Michael Levine
Costume Designers 
Clement & Sanôu
Lighting Designer 
David Finn
Video Designer 
Finn Ross
Peter te Nuyl
Klaus Bertisch
Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra
Children's chorus 
Kathedrale Koorschool Utrecht
Chorus Master 
Margareth Iping
Thomas Oliemans
Charlotte Margiono
Kate Lindsey
Lenneke Ruiten
Die Knusperhexe 
Peter Hoare
Hendrickje van Kerckhove


The puppets, created by Clement & Sanôu, are an important element in the staging of Hänsel und Gretel.

Main roles
With Thomas Oliemans as the father Peter, Charlotte Margiono as the mother Gertrud, Kate Lindsey as Hänsel (DNO debut) and Lenneke Ruiten as Gretel in her first big role with Dutch National Opera.

Hänsel und Gretel is suitable for children from 10 years and older. Children from 10 to 16 years of age receive a 50% discount on the ticket price.


Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra | Netherlands Chamber Orchestra

Dutch National Opera’s regular orchestra partner is regarded internationally as one of the best opera orchestras. The orchestra gives a varied programme of concerts in the Concertgebouw, as well as performing in various Dutch concert halls and at venues and festivals abroad.