Director Joel Ivany on the Family Roots of Hansel & Gretel
By Joel Ivany
Hansel and Gretel has family ties all over it. It’s the story of a family; a brother and sister, their parents and the house where they all live. The origins of the story also include family as two brothers, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, wrote the original back in 1812. Another set of siblings, Adelheid Wette and Engelbert Humperdinck, took the Grimm story and turned it into an opera that premiered in 1893.
There’s a reason this comedy has stood the test of time! The Barber of Seville is an infectious comic opera with genuine laughs. Rooted in the commedia dell’arte street theatre tradition, with zany stock characters and over-the-top scenarios, the addition of carnival and circus traditions adds a lot of extra fun! [READ MORE]
Hansel & Gretel, the opera, was created by a pair of real-life siblings, looking to create some holiday entertainment for their family.
Composer Engelbert Humperdinck was asked by his sister, Adelheid Wette, to come up with some short songs, based on the Brothers Grimm fairytale, for her children to perform during their Christmas puppet show.