Peabody Opera Outreach presents

Hansel & Gretel


in a shortened version for young audiences


Jennifer Blades, stage director

JoAnn Kulesza, musical director


Available from November 2008 through April 2009
Contact Elizabeth Cooper, Outreach Co-ordinator
Prices on request


Skip to booking procedures


Photographs of previous outreach shows
Opera at Peabody home


This production is a 50–minute condensation of Humperdinck’s immortal opera Hansel and Gretel for performance in schools (ideally grades 3–7). The plot thread of the original is maintained, the main cuts coming in the choruses, the ballet sequences, and the music for the parents. The production is fully costumed, and presented on a unique revolving set which changes quickly from a domestic interior to a deep forest, and on to the gingerbread house of the witch. The presentation is framed by a brief introduction beforehand and a question-and-answer session afterwards, in which the audience gets to interact directly with the performers.


The story of the opera

Two children, Hansel and Gretel, have been left alone in the house to work at the family business of making brooms. Furious to find they have been wasting their time dancing and playing instead of working, their mother sends them out into the forest to gather strawberries. When the children’s father returns, in high spirits after a good day at the market, he is horrified to learn that they may have gone to the Ilsenstein, notorious as the abode of a wicked Witch who lures children with promises of candy, turns them into gingerbread, and eats them.

The scene changes to the forest. Hansel and Gretel have again wasted time eating more strawberries than they have gathered, and now night is approaching. Gretel is terrified by the dark shadows among the trees, and Hansel admits that he has lost their way. But the Sandman appears to put the children into a peaceful sleep. After saying their prayers, they settle down, no longer afraid.

In the morning, the children are awakened by the Dew Fairy. Looking around, they see a magnificent cottage made of gingerbread and candy. When they break off a piece of this to eat it, however, the Witch appears and places the children under a spell. She begins to fatten Hansel on more candy, while making Gretel do her chores. But eventually, the clever Gretel learns the magic spell and uses it to secretly release Hansel. So when the Witch tries to trick Gretel into the oven, Hansel is able to creep up and help his sister push the Witch in instead! The worried parents finally catch up with their children. The Witch is pulled out of the oven, where she has been turned into a perfect gingerbread cookie!


Listings are alphabetical; cast combinations are determined for each performance

Hansel   Megan Ihnen
Madelyn Wanner
Gretel Margaret Finnegan
Emily Sanchez
Mother Adriana Gonzalez
Kerri Lynn Slominsky
Father James Parks
William Schaller
Sandman / Dew Fairy Joanna Bae Ah Lee
Caitlin Vincent
Witch Paul Brown
Alana Kolb
Diana Cantrelle McKinney


Outreach booking procedure:

If you would like to book an outreach performance, please click here to provide us with some information about your venue. You will be contacted by the Outreach Co-ordinator, Elizabeth Cooper, within a few days. Your venue must provide:

Elizabeth Cooper, Opera Outreach Coordinator
Peabody Conservatory of Music
1 E. Mount Vernon Place
Baltimore, MD 21202–2397
Telephone: (410) 659–8100 ext/1255

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