Hansel & Gretel

Hansel & Gretel guest pack


Hansel & Gretel
Talking Points



The protagonists need no introduction.


  • It is 1965. Failing pop star, Arnold Dorsey is advised by his manager to find a catchier name. As Engelbert Humperdinck Please Release Me sells
    80,000 copies in a day and fends off Penny Lane from the top of the charts
  • When Wagner was running out of steam on Parsifal (1880-1), he asked The Real Humperdinck to write some scene change music. Mrs Wagner (Cosima) was godmother to Engelbert’s only son, Wolfram
  • Relatively little was known about Humperdinck until his granddaughter Eva (a Doctor of Music and a nun) published his letters. She has written a statement pointing to errors in Pachl’s book on Siegfried Wagner, the composer’s son and pupil of Engelbert (google Eva Humperdinck)
  • Many recent productions have been set in sink estates. We’ve gone more Charles Dickens
  • Susan Bullock (witch/mother) has sung major Wagner roles on every continent; William Dazeley (father/brush-maker) was in our 2007 Falstaff; Soraya Mafi (Gretel) was Constance in our 2013 Carmelites – her first professional role. She has since appeared at the Châtelet, ENO, WNO
Dress Code, Grange Park Opera

Elegant. Most people wear black tie / gorgeous dresses. Don’t be afraid to be creative

Opera is about feelings. You need know nothing in advance. Just sit in the theatre and have feelings . . .

Also see . . .

The gardens


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The company

Founded 1998
78 Productions
450+ performances

a charity without government subsidy




  • Operas take place in a new five–storey opera house, nestling in the woods by 15th century West Horsley Place
  • The new opera house opened in June 2017 and since then more than 30,000 people have visited
  • It was built in just 10 months and £11.4m was raised from individuals
  • During the company’s 22 year history, repertoire has included lesserknown operas such as Thaïs, Don Quichotte (Massenet), Carmélites (Poulenc) Enchantress (Tchaikovsky), Love for Three Oranges (Prokofiev), Eliogabalo (Cavalli)
  • Fiddler on the Roof, starring Bryn Terfel, was at the 2015 BBC Proms
  • The world première of Pushkin was presented in 2018 by Moscow’s Novaya Opera orchestra and chorus
  • The company pioneers younger audiences and younger artists



Annual memberships are payable by monthly direct debit from as little as £20 per month

Members make the 2020 season and allow the work in prisons, primary schools and with young people.

Find out more


6 June to 19 July