Indulged too much at Christmas? This is the antidote. Laurent Pelly's radical, pointed Humperdinck Hánsel and Gretel from Glyndebourne 2008. This puts grim back into Brothers Grimm! Watch it HERE free online. A DVD is also available (amazon and other sources) and an audio version can be found if you look round carefully. Here is what Opera Today said :
"Alice Coote, enacted an astonishing metamorphosis to petulant, prepubescent mischief-maker — a touch of attention deficit disorder, perhaps? Coote was exhaustingly hyperactive, even managing to make disappearing into a cardboard box appear interesting and amusing. Her glorious tone was consistently projected with clarity and warmth - one cannot imagine a better Hansel, or a mezzo-soprano who enjoys the role more. Lydia Teuscher, as Gretel, held her own admirably with such a seasoned partner...... "
"Attired in a fluorescent pink two-piece suit and bouffant wig, Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke was an eye-watering picture of consumerist and gastronomic greed as the Witch. His ‘Shirley-Bassey’ strutting, brazenly clutching an upturned mop — microphone or broomstick? — raised uncomfortable hackles, and anticipated the exposure of his chilling intent when he whipped off the wig and revealed the sinisterly bare-headed, pot-bellied, knife-wielding monster beneath the deceptively frivolous drag-queen apparel."
The Guardian is streaming next June's big event, The Cunning Little Vixen for free, which means kaput for the small, independent cinemas that will be showing it on the same day. Glyndebourne itself sells out all the time, and, like last year, might not be screening live. Interesting economics. Is there a story?
PS I thought it was odd that Tom Service didn't mention cast or conductor at all in his piece. But there's a good reason !