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Hansel and Gretel

music for a ballet

Year:  2019

Year:  2019

Composer:   Claire Cowan

Films, Audio & Samples

Claire Cowan's fairy tale c...

Embedded audio
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Claire Cowan: Hansel & Gret...

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Claire Cowan: Hansel and Gr...

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When The Royal New Zealand Ballet commissioned Composer Claire Cowan to write the score for Hansel and Gretel in 2019, she became the first woman in NZ to compose a full-length ballet, and one of only a handful of women worldwide to do so. Her brilliant score won the hearts of nearly 30,000 ballet fans, who flocked to sold out theatres around the country over the five week tour. Later on this audience was expanded to viewing online during Covid-19 lockdowns – where close to 150,000 households tuned in to watch the production. Online audiences only missed the scent of gingerbread that was piped into the theatres during the 2019 season, just one of the many innovations in the exciting new treatment of the classic tale.

The cinematic score is written for an orchestra of 50, including Saxophone, Keyboards and a percussion section filled with pots and pans, musical bones, and bicycle horn. The ballet’s setting of the 1920’s brings early jazz elements into the score, with a heavy sprinkling of broadway sass.

Commissioned note

Commissioned by the Royal New Zealand Ballet