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Hansel und Gretel


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DVD 1-Disc Version
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Product Details

  • Directors: Thomas Grimm, Laurent Pelly
  • Format: AC-3, Classical, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: German (DTS 5.0), German (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Decca
  • DVD Release Date: July 14, 2009
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0027T5L56
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #505,438 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

The first Hansel & Gretel DVD on Decca: Laurent Pelly's striking new production of Humperdinck's enduringly popular masterpiece. The performance comes from Glyndebourne, where the production premiered in 2008. Laurent Pelly updates the action to the modern day, with the family living in a cardboard box and the witch's gingerbread house represented as the sweets and chocolate aisle of a supermarket! This makes for a striking twist on the traditional children's story. Filmed in High Definition with substantial bonus--a 38 minute documentary including interviews with the cast, conductor and director.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mark C. Neuville on March 8, 2010
Format: DVD
This is a modernized staging of one of the most familiar operas in the repertoire for young and old alike. I really enjoyed this production and perhaps a better bellwether, even my 9 year old sat in rapt attention throughout the entire opera. In this retelling, Laurent Pelly, stage director, has provided a dramatic staging where the gingerbread house has been remade into a convenience store turned inside out. While clearly the staging and theatrical aspects of the opera are on display, it is well sung and the London Philharmonic shines in its orchestral support. The transfer to DVD succeeds as well. The introduction takes us through the beautiful grounds of Glyndebourne into the theater while the overture is played and used to segue from video to the live theater. While one is aware of the audience it is never a focus. I wouldn't compare this production to other more traditional renderings, but as a modern retelling this production is tops.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth F. on February 20, 2014
Format: DVD
I feel compelled to write this review because one of the other reviewers seems to be writing about some other production. I am writing about the Glyndebourne, Laurent Pelly production. In this one, there is no world war I setting, there is no family room setting with a Christmas tree in Act Three. The Act Three on this dvd is nothing like what the reviewer, David Reynolds, described. There is a man who plays the witch, but he is not the same as the man who plays the father. You can go to the glyndebourne website and see clips from this video.

My daughter and I enjoyed this production. She is 8 years old. Although my husband gave her an out telling her he thought opera was boring, she insisted that she was glad she had seen it. If she had been any younger, it would have been hard for her sit still through any opera, particularly one sung in a foreign language. However, at her age, its possible a traditional setting would have bored her. She already knows the story of Hansel and Gretel quite well, so the new setting was intriguing. In this production, the family lives in an enormous cardboard box. The forest seems to be a junk yard or lumber yard full of large poles, empty 2-liter bottles, and plastic bags. The witch's house is a candy store turned inside out - we spotted large packages of gobstoppers, boxes of candy canes, commercially available boxes of cookies, candies, and soda pop.

The cast is very good. The children seem like a young boy and girl. The parents are good, the witch is very intimidating. The music is lovely.

It is sung in German. The English subtitles are a translation in rhyming verse. I should mention the translation includes a few curse words, like h**l, and b****h, which are there to rhyme with other words.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David L. Reynolds on December 28, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Some productions of Hansel and Gretel cast one woman as the Mother and the Witch. This is the first one on DVD that casts a man as the Father and the Witch. This is not as radical a production as the Richard Jones' production seen last year at the Met, but if you're looking for a straightforward retelling of the story this one might mystify you. The director seems to be drawing a parallel between the horrid events of WWI (or some such war, it's never really specific) and the fantasies of two abused children who yearn to have parents that love them. I write "seems" because that concept is abandoned after Acts One and Two. In the third act, we're in a lovely home on Christmas morning with a large Christmas tree upstage center and a delicious, if small, gingerbread house down stage. The parents beam down at their children from a staircase. The father acts the role of the Witch (with only a kerchief around his head) as if they're all playing a big game. Who the children are that arrive after the Witch's "death" (Hansel, Gretel, and the Father throw a Witch doll in the fireplace) and why they are all in this family's living room is not explained. It's all quite charming and lovely and I'm glad I saw it; what it has to do with Humperdinck's opera is more questionable.

The singers are adequate and act very well, the orchestra and chorus very capable, the conductor rather more than that. I'd love to see a DVD of Gian Carlo Del Monaco's "Nur fur Erwachsene" (Just for Grown-ups) production. That would really cause some teeth-gnashing!

For those more traditionally inclined, the Everding/Solti DVD is excellent. The Met production with Blegen and Von Stade is now out-of-print, but that is a beautifully traditional production and would be my first choice if it were available.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was searching for this item on the web and this is not an easy video to find so i was very happy when it got home, at least it got home here in Mexico and it was in a good state.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful By David Cellitti on March 22, 2013
Format: DVD
If you really want to hate this opera and/or want to teach your children to hate opera and/or really send them into a state of confusion I can't think of any other production that will do the job better. This may not be the worst interpretation of Humperdink's Fairy Tale Opera but it will do until another one comes along. Strap yourselves in for this one, kiddies. It's every man for himself once the curtain goes up. Freud would have a field day with this one!
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