Opera Scotland

Hansel and Gretel 1983Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Hansel and Gretel

Scottish Opera's 1983/84 season at the Theatre Royal opened with a new Death in Venice, followed before Christmas by Idomeneo (also new), and revivals of The Golden Cockerel and Hansel and Gretel. In the New Year, the season continued with revivals of L'elisir d'amore, La bohème and L'Egisto, before a final new production, Turandot, opened. There was also a short tour of the medium-scale theatres with a double bill of early one-act farces by Rossini, The Marriage Contract and The Silken Ladder. The autumn saw a further handful of performances of the recent Jonathan Miller Magic Flute, while the second half of December featured a two-week run of a musical, My Fair Lady.

This was the final revival of Peter Ebert's wonderfully grim-toned reading, but had a different feel - Stefan Janski's restaging was actually billed as a new production and it was far more soft-centred than before, presumably in an attempt to restore tradition. The worst example was the replacement of the starved children from the labour camps with a troupe of standard, twee little angels. The wonderfully effective sets and costumes were as before, with the sense that Peter's family had somehow inherited Hunding's hut, with its supportive tree. Stephen Barlow's musical reading was also excellently phrased, and beautifully played by the Scottish Opera Orchestra.

For the first time a mezzo-soprano came in as the witch instead of the hugely effective tenor. Regina Sarfaty projected plenty of character (she had been Stravinsky's choice for Baba in his own recording of The Rake's Progress a couple of decades earlier). The rest of the cast was excellent - the new children, Deborah Rees and Rosanne Creffield, were near ideal. It was also good to see the excellent mezzo Enid Hartle in her only appearances with the company, even if she didn't really have the dramatic soprano high notes that Mother really needs.

More dates to be added.

Performance Cast


Rosanne Creffield


Deborah Rees (Exc Nov 30)

Una Buchanan (Nov 30)

Gertrude mother of Hansel and Gretel

Enid Hartle

Peter a broom maker and father of Hansel and Gretel

David Marsh


Yvonne Barclay

Dew Fairy

Una Buchanan (Exc Nov 30)

Anne Rodger-Bowen (Nov 30)


Regina Sarfaty

Performance DatesHansel and Gretel 1983

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

16 Nov, 19.15 19 Nov, 14.15 30 Nov, 19.15 6 Dec, 19.15 8 Dec, 19.15 10 Dec, 19.15

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