Classic Cat


Engelbert Humperdinck   EHWV 106


Opera 1895.
Buy sheetmusic for this work at SheetMusicPlus

Königskinder (The King's Children) is a stage work by Engelbert Humperdinck that exists in two versions: as a melodrama and as an opera or more precisely a Märchenoper. The libretto was written by Ernst Rosmer (pen name of Else Bernstein-Porges), adapted from her play of the same name.

In 1894, Heinrich Porges asked Humperdinck to write incidental music for his daughter Else's play. Humperdinck was interested in making the story into an opera but since Else Bernstein-Porges initially refused he opted for the play to be staged as a melodrama - that is with spoken dialog taking place along with an instrumental backdrop. (The work also included operatic arias and choruses, as well as unaccompanied dialog.)

In the melodramatic passages, Humperdinck designed an innovative hybrid notation that called for a text delivery somewhere between singing and speech. With this notation, the singer was expected to deliver a substantial portion of the text with approximate pitched melodies.

This version was first staged at the Munich Hoftheater, with Hedwig Schako as the goose girl, on 23 January 1897 and enjoyed some success. However, Else Bernstein-Porges finally relented in 1907 and agreed that Humperdinck could transform the work into an opera.


Performance History

Königskinder was first performed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York on 28 December 1910, conducted by Alfred Hertz, with Geraldine Farrar as the Goose-Girl, Herman Jadlowker as the King's Son, Louise Homer as the Witch and Otto Goritz as the Fiddler. A Berlin premiere followed on 14 January 1911, conducted by Leo Blech with Lola Artôt de Padilla as the Goose-Girl and Walter Kirchhoff as the King's Son. Though the work lies in the shadow of Hänsel und Gretel, with which it shares a spirit, it is revived occasionally and has been recorded with strong casts several times. It was produced at the 1986 Wexford Festival, in 1997 at Sarasota Opera, in 2005 - 2007 at the Bayerische Staatsoper, and in 2007 at the Zurich Opera House. In 2010, Dell'arte Opera Ensemble gave a performance celebrating the hundredth anniversary of its premiere in New York City.


Role Voice type Premiere Cast, 28 December 1910
(Conductor: Alfred Hertz)
Goose-Girl (Gänsemagd) soprano Geraldine Farrar
Witch (Hexe) contralto Louise Homer
King's son (Köningssohn) tenor Herman Jadlowker
Fiddler (Spielmann) baritone Otto Goritz
Woodcutter bass Adamo Didur
Broom-maker tenor Albert Reiss
Stable girl contralto Marie Mattfeld
Innkeeper's daughter mezzo-soprano Florence Wickham
First gatekeeper tenor Ernst Maran
Second gatekeeper baritone William Hinshaw
Innkeeper bass Antonio Pini-Corsi
First child soprano Edna Walter
Second child soprano Lotte Engel
Senior councillor baritone Marcel Reiner
Tailor tenor Julius Bayer


  • 1952: Möller-Siepermann/Ihme-Säbich/Anders/Fischer-Dieskau, Orchester des Westdeutschen Rundfunks conducted by Richard Kraus, live in Cologne, Walhall
  • 1976: Donath/Schwarz/Dallapozza/Prey, Münchner Rundfunkorchester conducted by Heinz Wallberg, EMI
  • 1996: Schellenberger/Schmiege/Moser-T/Henschel, Münchner Rundfunkorchester conducted by Fabio Luisi, Calig
  • 2005: Sala/Gubisch/Kaufmann/Roth, Orchestre National de Montpelier conducted by Armin Jordan, live in Montpellier, Accord
  • 2007: Rey/Nikiteanu/Kaufmann/Widmer, Opernhaus Zürich conducted by Ingo Metzmacher, video from Zurich, Encore
  • 2008: Banse/Schnaut/Vogt/Gerhaher, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester, Berlin conducted by Ingo Metzmacher, live in Berlin, Premiere Opera


External links

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Königskinder". Allthough most Wikipedia articles provide accurate information accuracy can not be guaranteed.

Our dream: to make the world's treasury of classical music accessible for everyone. See the about page on how we see the future.
Help us with donations or by making music available!

Contact     Privacy policy    Looking for classical mp3 downloads? We index the free-to-download classical mp3s on the internet.
©2021 Classic Cat - the classical music directory
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
Visitor's Favorites

Bach, J.S.
Toccata and Fugue in d minor

Brennin Keller

Bach, C.P.E.
Cello Concerto in A major

Conservatoire de Paris

Debussy, C.
La mer

Philharmonia Orchestra

Bartók, B.
String Quartet No. 2

Borromeo String Quartet

Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, F.
Symphony no. 5 "Reformation"

WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln

Bach, J.S.
Well-Tempered Clavier I

Mike Alfera