Sylvia's Violins | Hansel and Gretel

Englebert Humperdink


Humperdink’s delightful opera Hansel and Gretel has charmed children and adults for generations. For our daughter’s fifth birthday we took her to her first opera. She was so excited to see Hansel and Gretel but she had a few questions. She wanted to know if the fourteen angels could “really, really fly” and what was a ‘pit’ and why did her father work in it. During this time my husband was a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Before the opera began I took her up front to look down into the ‘pit’ where her father and other orchestra members were warming up. She seemed relieved and, if I remember correctly, the angels really, really did fly that night.

(I purchased this violin sight unseen from an estate sale in upstate NY. While unpacking it I noticed one of the F-holes was much larger than the other. Something has been chewing on the violin. How Perfect! “Nibble, nibble, mousekin. Who’s nibbling at my housekin?”)