Hansel and Gretel are REALLY hungry

Engelbert Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel (not that Engelbert Humperdinck) is all about food, as Richard Jones' production for the Met made surreally clear in 2008. This production is in English but sung (by Christine Schafer, Alice Coote, and Philip Langridge) with funky German accents to give authentic aural texture. It's odd but beautiful.
In the first video, below, Hansel and Gretel wait at home for their mother to return. They are painfully hungry:

Hansel: ...I sit here half dead.
Who will lend me money to by me some bread?
I'll sell my old mattress and sleep where I please
I'd rather have a bite than be bitten by fleas.
Gretel: My stomach thinks it could eat a stone
Hansel (as Gretel attempts to eat the table): Hunger keeps gnawing, driving you mad

O Gretel, I wonder how it would feel
if we just gorged a scrumptious meal?
Strawberry pancakes and beef with noodles...
When did Mum last make apple strudels?

Having tried to calm herself and her brother by repeating their father's "refrain"—When in need or dark despair, God will always hear our prayer—Gretel discovers that dancing is the only way to keep the "gremlin" of hunger away.
Let's dance away our hunger pains.
The dance is all we own.


In the witch's kitchen, Hansel is trussed and ready for roasting as the witch chants (opera style):
The hell-cat sings, the death knell rings...
my tongue doth heat
to taste the sweet and melting tithe [?] of children's meat

The final scene. Note the witch on the table—baked en croute. Forks held between praying hands, everyone on stage earnestly intones the father's refrain one more time—When in need or dark despair, God will always hear our prayer—before digging in.
See the witch, bewitched for good
burnt to crisp, she's ditched for good.
Now she's dead.
Where's her head?
Baked into a loaf of bread!

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