New Productions

Engelbert Humperdinck
1854 - 1921

Opera in three Scenes
Libretto by Adelheid Wette after the fairy tale of the same name (1810) by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
First performed December 23rd 1893 at the Hoftheater in Weimar
Sung in German with German surtitles
Duration: 2 hours 15 min. with one interval

About the work

Is it really only a dark, bitterly cold wood in which the broom-maker's children get lost and fall into the clutches of a demonic power? Or does the wandering path lead inwards, to the maze of the soul, to the heart of early and late romanticism? There where Weber's wolf's glen and Caspar David Friedrich's ice floes are to be found? Something definitely happens in the wood and the children who emerge from it are not quite the same as they were when they entered it. The brothers Grimm and Engelbert Humperdinck, who composed the work in Frankfurt at a time of booming economy, lived at the time of the industrial revolution, a time of unscrupulous exploitation, especially of the young. Child labour – Dicken's starving orphans and workhouse boys – was common. These children's psychological and social problems are mirrored in the tale of the abandoned siblings. There is a deeply moving chorale at the end of the opera that proclaims the brightness of day and freedom - dissolving the darkness, and fear, of slavery.

Monday 22.12.2014 19:00 h

Further performances

Opera House

Pre-booking and Pricing


Hartmut Keil
Keith Warner
Stage Designer
Jason Southgate
Costume Designer
Julia Müer
Lighting Designer
John Bishop
Children's Chorus Master
Markus Ehmann
Norbert Abels

Peter, Besenbinder
Simon Bailey
Gertrud, his wife
Barbara Zechmeister
Katharina Magiera
Juanita Lascarro
Die Knusperhexe (Witch)
Michael McCown
Sandmännchen (Sandman)
Elizabeth Reiter
Taumännchen (Dew Fairy)
Nora Friedrichs *

Oper Frankfurt's Orchestra and Children's Chorus


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