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German (Subtitles : English and French)


A work brimming with youthfulness and fantasy, a magical opera featuring refreshing melodies and colourful characters. Inspired by the Brothers Grimm (Snow White, Rapunzel, Cinderella) fairy tale, the opera version of Hänsel & Gretel comes to us courtesy of German composer Engelbert Humperdinck. As directed by Hugo Bélanger, the 2014 production by the Atelier lyique de l’Opéra de Montréal, presented in Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier at Place des arts, benefits from the participation of artists from the National Circus School, adding a wonderful touch to this timeless story. Also taking part are musicians from the Orchestre Métropolitain, conducted by Alain Trudel, shining a spotlight on Humperdinck’s scintillating score. Young artists, opera, and the circus: an encounter that promises to be magical!


Get ready to enjoy Hänsel & Gretel with these educational videos, produced for primary and secondary school children:

Hänsel & Gretel Behind-the-scenes - Part 1 (in French only)

Hänsel & Gretel Behind-the-scenes - Part 2 (in French only)

PreOpera hosted by Gretel

Punished for being somewhat disobedient, Hänsel and his sister Gretel are sent off to pick strawberries in the forest. To make matters worse, they lose their way and are put to sleep by the Sandman, spending the night outdoors. When they awaken, they continue their search and come upon a magnificent house made entirely out of gingerbread and candy! Unable to resist the enticement, they don’t think twice about taking a few bites out of the surreal house… just as the homeowner—an evil, cannibalistic witch—shows up. She captures Hänsel and Gretel, with plans to fatten them up and eat them! But the children prove to be more cunning, and it’s the old witch that ends up in the oven…



Behind-the-scenes - Hänsel & Gretel | Part 1

Our friendly opera singer Frédérique Drolet, who plays Gretel in this opera, takes you on a journey behind-the-scenes.


Behind-the-scenes - Hänsel & Gretel | Part 2

Our friendly opera singer Frédérique Drolet, who plays Gretel in this opera, takes you on a journey behind-the-scenes.


PreOpera - Hänsel & Gretel


Hänsel & Gretel at home - Ad


Jake Heggie  >

Jake Heggie is the American composer of the operas Moby-Dick, Dead Man Walking, Three Decembers, The End of the Affair, To Hell and Back, and the stage works For a Look or a Touch and At the Statue of Venus. He has also composed more than 200 art songs, as well as orchestral, choral, and chamber music.

Stage Director

Hugo Bélanger  >

Metteur en scène explorant le merveilleux et l’imaginaire, Hugo Bélanger enchante les publics depuis plus de 20 ans avec des spectacles où la théâtralité et l’inventivité font la part belle au rêve et à la poésie. Créateur touche-à-tout et spécialiste du jeu masqué et physique, il crée pour le théâtre, le cirque et l’opéra avec un égal bonheur. Sa signature artistique mariant une précision des corps avec un amour pour les images fortes et poétiques sait toucher un public de tous âges et de tous types. Directeur artistique du Théâtre Tout à Trac, compagnie qu’il a fondée il y a plus de 20 ans, il crée des spectacles grand public qui ont marqué les esprits comme La princesse Turandot, MÜNCHHAUSEN, les machineries de l’imaginaire et Le tour du monde en 80 jours.


Stage Director Assistant : Maude St-Pierre / Circus Designer : Veronica Melis / Costume Designer : Naomi Fontaine / Set Designer : Odile Gamache / Lighting Designer : Julie Basse / Prop Designer : Alain Jenkins / Rehearsal Pianist : Jennifer Szeto / Musical Preparation : Claude Webster

In collaboration with the École nationale de cirque, the École nationale de théâtre and the CSDM COOPÉRA project.

A movie by Pierre and François Lamoureux (Cinémusica)


  • Act 1

    At home alone while their parents are out, Hänsel and Gretel are trying to work… When Hänsel complains to his sister about being hungry, she shows him a pitcher of milk that a neighbour has given to the family for their dinner. To help distract her brother, Gretel tries to teach him to dance. Suddenly, their mother enters. She scolds the children for having fun instead of tending to their chores. In anger, she accidentally knocks over the pitcher of milk. Exasperated, she sends the children into the woods to pick strawberries. Their father returns home, pleased with having had a profitable day at work, and at being able to bring home a package full of food. Learning that his wife has sent Hänsel and Gretel into the forest, he is overcome with fear: has she forgotten that a horrible witch lives in those woods? The parents quickly set off to find their children.

  • Act 2

    In the forest, Gretel is singing while Hänsel picks strawberries. With their basket now full, the children eat a few strawberries, and then eat a few more, until there are none left. They can’t go home empty-handed, nor can they look for more berries, as night has fallen and they can’t find their way back. The woods are suddenly quiet, and the children begin to get scared. The Sandman comes to put them to sleep by sprinkling some sand in their eyes. Hänsel and Gretel say their evening prayers and then fall asleep.

  • Act 3

    The Dew Fairy appears to wake the children. They remember having had wonderful dreams filled with angels and bright light. As the fog lifts, they see a strange house made out of gingerbread. As they begin to nibble on the house, a voice is heard from inside: it’s the witch, who soon appears. Though she is friendly at first, she ends up immobilizing the children with a magic spell. She puts Hänsel in a cage, where she plans to start fattening him up with sweets. Gretel is forced to help the witch, who can already see herself making a meal of the roasted children. She asks Gretel to check if the oven is hot. When Gretel pretends that she doesn’t know how, the witch peeks inside the oven herself to show Gretel how it’s done… The children push her in and closed the door. The oven explodes, and the children are free. Hänsel and Gretel’s parents arrive, happy to have found their children. From the ruins of the oven, they pull out the witch, who has turned into gingerbread. All express their gratitude at having been saved.