Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Humperdinck - Hansel and Gretel / Fulton Metropolitan Opera|
Actors: Frederica von Stade, Judith Blegen, Rosalind Elias, Michael Devlin, Jean Kraft
Genres: Kids & Family, Music Video & Concerts, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Musicals & Performing Arts
A Christmas classic, The Metropolitan Opera's performance of Hansel and Gretel features the music by Engelbert Humperdink and is conducted by Thomas Fulton. The Met's storybook production cheerfully evokes a magic world of... more »
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An Enchanted Performance of the Classic Fairy Tale!
John G. Gleeson Sr. | Frederic, Mi USA | 11/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw and taped this 1982 performance when it was originally telecast, and it had been a part of our family's Christmas tradition until the tape wore out. What a delight to experience the magic of this performance on DVD! While opera, in general, is not noted for high quality acting, the performances of Judith Blegen (Gretel) and Frderica von Stade ( Hansel), who never seems to be other than visually and sonically lovely, are simply captivating! Blegen's soprano is lyric, light and smooth, and is perfectly matched by von Sade's mezzo. And Rosalind Elias, who earlier in her career was anything but, is a fantastic witch, who is obviously having a great time flying all over the stage. Humperdinck's lush and melodic score is well played by the Met Orchestra, and perfectly conducted by the talented Thomas Fulton. The disc's video is a wonderful marriage of performance and technology, and if the sound isn't Dolby 5.1, well this is opera, not Mission Impossible, so that the Dolby Stereo, works very well. This Christmas Eve ( or any other time that suits your fancy), kick back, suspend your disbelief, and be transported to Fairyland. This performance is guaranteed to please, whether you are an operaphile or a novice. And it is a perfect introduction to opera and classical music for children. Don't wait."
Charming Production of a Classic for All Ages
Dan Sherman | Alexandria, VA USA | 01/30/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this 1982 performance at the Met and was very impressed by the charm of the production. Hansel and Gretel was originally written (and can be performed) as a relatively small scale opera, but the Met brought a great deal of wonderful large-scale stagecraft to the opera in a way that makes the production even more enjoyable. Some of the great stage momemnts for me are the gingerbread house coming up from the stage, the various animals (really kids) who come out on stage, the 14 angels protecting the children, and the transformation of the gingerbread children into real children. The production on DVD is from a live broadcast. The singing is very good with Judith Blegen (Gretel), Frederica von Stade (Hansel), and a very hammy witch (Rosalind Elias). The DVD is well indexed and sound quality is quite good -- the audience is well behaved! This is an opera (and opera production) that people of all ages will like, especially kids. Buy it and enjoy it!"
Gorgeous Music and a Charming Story
Mr John Haueisen | WORTHINGTON, OHIO United States | 12/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the Metropolitan Opera's grand production of Hansel and Gretel, starring Julith Blegen and Frederica von Stade. It is absolutely a delight to the eyes and ears, and is so deliciously done, you can almost smell the gingerbread and taste the witch's candy house. This is from a live performance, and it is likely you will gasp in amazement (as the live audience did) as the witch's house appears on stage. Equally well-executed are the flying angels who guard Hansel and Gretel's sleep. (The Met made sure it didn't look like singers hanging from wires--they really look like angels, and the effect is dazzling.) You'll love the witch, as she flies on her broom, or sticks out her green tongue. Although most people regard Hansel and Gretel as a children's piece, (and it is a lovely way to introduce children to the world of opera) the orchestration is so lush and rich that people of all ages will find themselves saying, "I thought it was kids' music, but it's so beautiful." This music was written by Humperdinck, who might be considered the heir to the sound of Mahler, and his music is as gorgeous as a Mahler symphony. Yes, this production is performed in English instead of the original German language, but perhaps that makes it a better vehicle to interest new-comers to opera. Buy it, enjoy it, and share it with those you love!"
Scott Chamberlain | Minneapolis, MN United States | 12/06/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It seems like "magical" is a word only used by hack reviewers from suspicious-sounding newspapers. But really, there's no better word for this production. The richly romantic score is wonderfully played by the orchestra, and sensitively conducted by Fulton. The singers are uniformly good. The fantasy elements are spectacular... the house, the forest, the flying of angels and witches add immeasurably to the production. The only thing that I wasn't overly fond of was at certain moments the production was "childrened down," like with the occasional addition of somewhat corny graphics. But much better than some productions that remove anything "dangerous" at all, and have the witch played by a man as a drag queen! All in all this is a wonderful production of a wonderful opera. You'll be whistling the folksy score for days, and that haunting, meltingly beautiful prayer will stick with you for a long time."