Friday, 24 December 2010

Humperdinck Hänsel und Gretel ROH

Humperdinck Hänsel und Gretel revived at the Royal Opera House London. Two years ago almost to the day, Claire Seymour at Opera Today went and wrote about it :

"Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel is titled a Märchenspiel — a Fairytale: and as twentieth-century psychologists and psychoanalysts have been eager to inform us, lurking beneath those familiar saccharine stories of sleeping princesses, defeated tyrants, love fulfilled and harmony restored, lie the dark shadows of the human heart — passionate, violent, unpredictable and unredeemed."

"So, directors Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier are faced with a choice: is this ‘children’s opera’ a tale of sugary sentimentality or a gothic nightmare? To my mind, they aren’t quite sure … The opening act presents a realistic portrait of ‘modern-day family life’, complete with financial woes, parental neglect, bolshy children and over-sexed adults; the second act glides into a kitschy fantasy landscape in which magic and mystery induce a sense of temporary calm, and banish the demons and debt collectors; while, in the final act, menace and maliciousness are unmercilessly unleashed, shocking us almost as much as the thunderous explosion which brings to an end the witch’s depraved malevolence."  Different cast this time round.

But how is this for REALLY creepy ? Penhaglion's the Perfumers have a new walking logo. A tall man in Victorian garb but with the head of an owl. Strange marketing concept - perfume and old owls? Follow this link to a piece with great photos and details. Scare the wits out of a kid near you..

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