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DVD Review

Engelbert Humperdinck

Hansel and Gretel

Opera in 3 Acts
  • Christine Schäfer
  • Alice Coote
  • Rosalind Plowright
  • Alan Head
  • Sasha Cooke
  • Lisette Oropesa
  • Philip Langridge
Children's Chorus & Metropolitan Opera Orchestra/Vladimir Jurowski
EMI DVD 206308-9 121m Full Screen
Find it at AmazonFind it at Amazon UKFind it at Amazon GermanyFind it at Amazon CanadaFind it at Amazon FranceFind it at Amazon JapanOrder Now from ArkivMusic.comFind it at CD Universe

Judging by the rapturous applause at the end of this work, this gorgeous and perennial "fairy opera" must have captivated the hearts and imagination of young and old alike, and why not?

Filmed at the Metropolitan on 1st January 2008, this Richard Jones production really has everything going for it. Simple yet effective sets and costumes (John Mcfarlance), magical lighting effects (Jennifer Tipton) and a group of outstanding singers headed by a rich-toned and vibrant but tomboyish Hansel and a scrumptiously sweet Gretel.

And on top of all of these high points, a marvelous and sensitive orchestra alert to Jurowski's magic wand flowing with the panache of a true master. This issue is all the more lavish because the show is hosted by none other than Renee' Fleming, the American soprano who is already a legend in her lifetime.

A wonderful documentary gives the viewer the chance to peep backstage and meet not only Fleming, but other eminent personalities such as Joe Clark (MET Technical Director) and the two main singers. Immaculate sound and vision complete this EMI blockbuster which should not be missed.

Copyright © 2008 by Gerald Fenech