© Christian Huber
© Christian Huber


KATRIN WUNDSAM as Hänsel in Dresden

Engelbert Humperdinck used the Brothers Grimm’s story as the basis for the most famous fairy-tale opera in musical theatre repertoire. Originally conceived as a piece for his own family, setting texts by his sister Adelheid Wette, Hänsel und Gretel became Humperdinck’s first opera, and the one to break all records. In Katharina Thalbach’s production, this tale is enriched by further figures from the universe of the Brothers Grimm: Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White and the Big Bad Wolf take children and adults on a musical journey following the trail of the familiar fantasy figures through the eerie, beautiful forest of the fairy-tales. At its end stands the demise of the witch’s empire and the triumph of good, announced by the gingerbread children transformed back to their human form: “Released, liberated, forever!”

In time for Christmas, Katrin Wundsam returns to one of the central roles of her repertoire, performing Hänsel at Dresden’s Semper Opera. She sang the same role in Achim Freyer’s new production at Berlin’s State Opera Unter den Linden in 2017. Her interpretation of Hänsel may also be heard in a recording with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin under Marek Janowski’s baton, released by the label Pentatone.


Iulia Maria Dan, Gretel
Katrin Wundsam, Hänsel
Markus Marquardt, Peter (Vater)
Christa Mayer, Gertrud (Mutter)
Evelyn Herlitzius, Hexe
Julia Muzychenko, Sandmännchen
Julia Muzychenko, Taumännchen

Srba Dinić, conductor
Katharina Thalbach, staging
Ezio Toffolutti, set design and costume design
Jan Seeger, lighting design
Erica Trivett, choreography
Hans-Georg Wegner, dramaturgy

Children's Choir of the Semperoper Dresden
Ladies of Sinfoniechor Dresden – Extrachor der Semperoper Dresden
Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden