Summer marks the return of Holland Park Opera’s 700-seat canopied auditorium to the leafy gardens and woodland of West London’s Holland Park. Sung in German with English surtitles, this presentation of Engelbert Humperdinck’s most famous work, Hansel and Gretel, features City of London Sinfonia (which recently celebrated its fiftieth anniversary) and the Opera Holland Park Chorus.
Sent out to a haunted forest to search for strawberries, the two children of the title become lost as night draws in. The Sandman appears and puts the pair into a restful sleep. In the morning they are awakened by the Dew Fairy and all appears well. When the children discover an attractive house made of gingerbread and cookies they begin eating it and are entrapped by its resident – the Gingerbread Witch. Hansel and Gretel manage to foil the witch’s nefarious plans, return the unmoving gingerbread children who had made up the fence of the cottage to their human forms, and are reunited with their parents.