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Hansel and Gretel
By Englebert Humperdinck, Libretto by Adelheid Wette

Translation by David Pountney; orchestral reduction by Michael Vinten
Produced by NBR/New Zealand Opera
Directed by Michael Hurst

New Zealand tour, 29 June-13 August 2008






Ana James
Anna Pierard
Helen Medlyn
James Harrison
Barbara Graham or
Barbara Paterson
  Sandman/Dew Fairy
Tecwyn Evans (June 29-August 1)
Michael Vinten (August 6-13)
Michael Hurst
Jacqueline Coats
  Assistant Director
John Verryt
  Production Designer
David Eversfield
  Lighting Designer
Mark W. Dorrell
David Pourtney
Michael Vinten
  Orchestral Arranger

Accompanied by an ensemble of players from the Auckland
Philharmonia Orchestra and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.

Michael on the set of Hansel and Gretel

29 June
3, 5 July
7 July
9 July
12, 14 July
17 July
19, 21 July
23 July
25 July
28 July
1 August
6 August
8 August
11 August
13 August

  Kerikeri, The Centre at Kerikeri
North Shore, Bruce Mason Centre
Manukau, TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre
Wanganui, Royal Wanganui Opera House
Wellington, The Opera House
Blenheim, Marlborough Civic Theatre
Christchurch, Isaac Theatre Royal
Timaru, Theatre Royal
Invercargill, Civic Theatre
Wanaka, Lake Wanaka Centre
Greymouth, Regent Theatre
Hastings, Hawke's Bay Opera House
New Plymouth, TSB Theatre, TSB Showplace
Rotorua, Civic Theatre
Tauranga, Baycourt Theatre


Barbara Graham as The Dew Fairy


Helen Medlyn as The Witch
Anna Pierard as Gretel, Helen Medlyn as The Witch, and Ana James as Hansel

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Media and Reviews


New Zealand Herald:  "Michael Hurst's hi-energy production of Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel premiered to a full house in Kerikeri on Sunday night and is ready to take on the country.  Hurst injects a touch of grand guignol panto into this classic fairytale opera and his cast of five play it to the hilt. . . . As a lively, provocative night at the theatre, Hansel and Gretel is a winner."

National Business Review:  "Director Michael Hurst has given the opera a freshness and unity, balancing the fairy tale, the cautionary tale and the sinister with a careful hand and an understanding of the links between the dramatic and musical elements of the work."

Listener:  "The fact that this is a touring production has limited nothing.  In fact, it has spurred Hurst and Verryt to feats of imaginative storytelling and interpretation.  . . . The performance in Kerikeri was sold out, so grab your tickets in a town near you while you still can."

theatreview.co.nz:  "Director Michael Hurst acquits himself very well with this, his first opera.  He works with the grain of the music to present a clear telling of the story with occasional peeks at the dark side of the Grimms tale."

Metro:  "It’s director Michael Hurst’s first opera, and under his guidance, the production is energetic and fast-paced."


Preview, New Zealand Herald:  "Hurst is directing Hansel and Gretel straight on the back of his production of Threepenny Opera at the Maidment. 'I thought this would be easier, less people,' he says. 'True - less people, but this sea of music.  I am a bit stressed.   I am blinking a bit slower than I would normally do,' he adds with a laugh."