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Your Reaction: What did you think of The Royal Opera's Hansel and Gretel?

Audience and press reviews of Antony McDonald's production of Humperdinck's fairytale opera.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

14 December 2018 at 10.44am | 19 Comments

Press reviews:
Time Out ★★★★
The Stage ★★★★
Bachtrack ★★★★
Guardian ★★★
Independent ★★★
Metro ★★★
Times (£) ★★★
Broadway World ★★★
Telegraph ★★
Sunday Times (No star rating, very positive)

What did you think of Hansel and Gretel?
Let us know by posting a comment below or by using #ROHhansel on social media

Hansel and Gretel runs until 29 December 2018. Tickets are sold out, although a limited number are released each week via Friday Rush.

The opera is a co-production with San Francisco Opera and is staged with generous philanthropic support from Yvonne and Bjarne Rieber, the Sitzprobe Circle and the Friends of Covent Garden.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

14 December 2018 at 10.44am

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged by Antony McDonald, Hansel and Gretel, Hansel und Gretel, Production, review, your reaction

This article has 19 comments

  1. Chris and Jana responded on 14 December 2018 at 1:41pm Reply

    Disappointing! Awful costumes! No tasty gingerbreadhouse and no Angels at All.

  2. Looks like a really lovely production with a timeless appeal. The designs remind me a lot of John MacFarlane's painterly set and costume designs (including those for Swan Lake, and the Royal Opera's production of The Magic Flute), and the Sandman has a look of Jiminy Cricket from Pinocchio about him. I really hope any future revivals (which I imagine could be quite regular given how well this run has sold) have a longer run. As a non-Londoner, getting down to the ROH can be tricky, so an increased number of performances really helps.

  3. Hilary Manser responded on 15 December 2018 at 12:41am Reply

    I thought it was boring and charmless and not particularly well sung. The orchestra was good though

  4. Jane Sprague responded on 15 December 2018 at 8:58am Reply

    Not an opera buff but enjoying learning and as part of our gradual introduction, this production on Thursday was delightful. Charming, fun, mischievous characters, wondrous sets, and the music is so engaging - woke up the next day with it buzzing in my head. With a delicious meal in Paul Hamlyn Balconies this was an excellent start to the Christmas festivities.

  5. Stephen Jay-Taylor responded on 18 December 2018 at 5:07am Reply

    With all the emphasis on Grimm's tales and C19th German folklore in the ROH's pre- publicity and programme materials, I find myself wondering why there are at least SIX characters in the Act II dream pantomime who are the creations of Charles Perrault - including Snow White and Cinderella - from C17th France instead.

    And though I don't particularly find this staging "vulgar and charmless", I do think it's bland and flabbily executed, Act I shamelessly recycling Julia Trevelyan Oman's 30-year-old set for Drosselmeyer's shop in Nutcracker, and the Act III kitchen set absolutely hopeless in conjuring any sense of either confinement or cooking, the two things it actually needs to convey visually.

  6. Tim Wood-Woolley responded on 18 December 2018 at 11:37am Reply

    This grizzled, cynical 62 year went last and absolutely loved it. It was colourful, coherent, charming in fact everything that the current production of Carmen is not. The two leads, Jenifer Davis and Hanna Hip sang splendidly and of course carried most of the action. Clearly, they are not dancers but put in such a sprited performance it was impossible not to be captivated by them and the with whole ensemble. It made me realise that Hansel and Gretel is actually a better opera than I thought it was.
    The only downside was that yet again no cognizance seems to have been taken of the ROH's sightlines. I suspect anyone in the slips with seats numbered higher than about 22 would have missed all of the action in Act 1 as the hut was designed with such a low roof.

  7. Michael S. responded on 18 December 2018 at 4:53pm Reply

    My wife and I are also grizzled 67/8 year olds and we loved it.
    Ignore the overcritical critics.
    We saw the previous adult ROH production and an excellent Glyndebourne production.
    This one turne down the horror, unlike the previous production. It is an excellent introduction to opera for children (there were many there, last night). I approve it being sung in German, with surtitles, as usual. Start them young!
    If it comes back next season, I hope to take my 10 year old granddaughter .

  8. Susanna Lamb responded on 24 December 2018 at 11:18am Reply

    Please please do a live stream of this- I would love to take my children!

  9. Hilary A Franklin responded on 28 December 2018 at 7:09am Reply

    Appalled by the standard of the children's choir, which was not the children's fault of course.
    Their performance was poor musically, it lacked energy and enthusiasm and the children were clearly untrained in simple singing techniques.
    Audiences at the ROH deserve better.

  10. Susan Nisbet responded on 29 December 2018 at 11:33am Reply

    I love this production. Please bring it back next Christmas. The cast was great, especially Hanna Hipp who looked and acted just like a little boy and her voice was perfect. What a wonderful idea to have all the fairytale characters flitting in and out. So beautiful. Thank you.

  11. John Hook responded on 29 December 2018 at 3:26pm Reply

    My partner enjoyed the production and liked the references to cinema productions.
    Sadly the final act was disappointing because in our seats on the right hand side of the balcony there was a strange high pitched sound which could have been some form of alarm. I know the staff were trying to find out what it was, but without success,

  12. Susan Young responded on 29 December 2018 at 6:12pm Reply

    I was very excited to finally be able to take my daughter to this opera (I grew up with it in Germany). The orchestra was as always great, I liked the gentle stage set in act I and II. However, the witch’s house was disappointing, no ‘real’ gingerbread as sung about by Hansel and Gretel, no flying witch either. I approve of operas being sung in their original language but the German was difficult to understand most of the time, except for James Rutherford. The children’s choir, generally a beautiful moment, was disappointing both vocally and dramatically.
    Overall, I’m happy the production took place but hope for improvements for next Christmas.

  13. David responded on 29 December 2018 at 6:59pm Reply

    No angels and no gingerbread house!! Come on, these are basic requirements.

  14. George responded on 29 December 2018 at 7:29pm Reply

    Dreadful production, poor singing. We thought we were transported to the 1970’s. The sets lacked charm and as for the Bates motel...ridiculous! The male witch in drag was particularly offensive as was the scene where he stripped off....who thought that was OK ? The ROH needs to re-connect with its audience and modern thinking.

  15. Richard responded on 31 December 2018 at 3:39pm Reply

    Sad to say that this is not a patch on the previous production. The set for the first act looks ready for retirement on its first outing. And where is there any magic in the rest? Well performed, though.

  16. David Coulling responded on 1 January 2019 at 10:06pm Reply

    Ignore what the critics say - my wife and I abolutely loved every minute as we were transported into fantasy land for over 2 hours of joyous music. A wonderful way to end Xmas with an enchanting production can cast.

  17. Sebastian Dawson-Bowling responded on 6 January 2019 at 1:57am Reply

    Thank you so much ROH for your absolutely BRILLIANT new production of this wonderful opera.
    The orchestra were absolutely stunning, the singers outstanding, and the production completely lived up to its billing as a fairytale staging for the whole family. Most of us do not want ‘imaginative reinterpretations’ of works like H&G; we want traditional stagings which tell the story, llike you have given us here, and appeal to young and old alike (it was my seven-year-old son’s first opera experience; he absolutely loved it).
    Please, please, please make this a Christmas regular.

  18. Roland Wilding responded on 13 January 2019 at 10:59pm Reply

    Fairytale staging takes most of the audience to another world chocolate bucket absolute knockout and what’s wrong with death by chocolate at Xmas fantastic set who needs cinema imax when you can have the real deal and singing

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