Hansel and Gretel, as told by the brothers Grimm, illustrates the role of negative characters in helping the positive characters to grow in self-knowledge and self-reliance. And what more negative a character could one find than the Witch! ‘The old woman had only pretended to be kind, but she was, in reality, a wicked witch, who lay in wait for children and had only built a house of bread in order to entice them there. When a child fell into her power, she killed it, cooked, and ate it, and that was a feast day for her. Witches have red eyes, and cannot see far, but they have a keen sense of smell like the beasts, and know when human beings draw near.’ We know that Gretel saved her brother by pushing the witch into her own oven. Because the children were able to gain control of their nightmare- made tangible in the form of the witch they gained confidence in their own abilities to defeat evil and rescue themselves.
State Opera is on another winner with this superb production