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Hansel & Gretel

4.8 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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(May 11, 2010)
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Editorial Reviews

Judith Blegen, Frederica von Stade, Jean Kraft, Michael Devlin, Rosalind Elias, Diane Kesling, and Betsy Norden star in this English language 1982 Metropolitan Opera production of the Humperdinck opera conducted by Thomas Fulton.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Frederica von Stade, Judith Blegen, Jean Kraft, Michael Devlin, Rosalind Elias
  • Directors: Kirk Browning
  • Writers: Adelheid Wette
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (DTS 5.1), English (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, German, French, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Deutsche Grammophon
  • DVD Release Date: May 11, 2010
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0038Q3UKK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,258 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Hansel & Gretel" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mr John Haueisen VINE VOICE on December 7, 2003
Format: DVD
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!
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Format: DVD
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.
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Format: DVD
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.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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!
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Speaking as a former dancing mushroom (yes, one of the ones seen in this video), I can say that this is one of my favorite videos! As a child, performing in this production was an exciting rush. As an adult, watching the opera still gives me a thrill. The production is beautiful, the stars incredible and the dancing mushrooms...well...
An excellent introduction to opera and an enjoyable video for children and adults alike!
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Format: DVD
I originally taped this off television when it was first broadcast in 1982. Those were the days when Hansel and Gretel was about two waifs lost in the Black Forest. Currently productions, I guess in an effort to make a fairy tale contemporary, now have a mother who tries to overdose, randy parents who need a "nooner", a witch who shows up with bare breasts, as well as any number of "touches" that must leave most children as completely bewildered as I am trying to figure out what is going onstage. This reissue of a delightful, traditional performance from The Met reminds us that a Fairy Tale is best told in a simple, easy to follow, manner. For those parents out there who want to introduce their children to opera without a trip to the therapist first should snap this DVD up before it goes out of print again. The sonics are terrific and it still looks pretty good even in light of its blu-ray competition.
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