QUESTION: I was surprised to read that Gordon Mills [Humperdinck's manager] didn't realize the original Engelbert Humperdinck wrote "Hansel and Gretel." He just saw the name in a book and decided it was the perfect name for you.
ANSWER: That's right. We both had no idea it was "Hansel and Gretel." He did that with two other people he managed. He did it with Tom Jones from the "Tom Jones" character, and he did it with Gilbert O'Sullivan. He managed all those people.
For all my non-opera readers, the original Engelbert Humperdinck (1854-1921) was the composer of an opera-for-children version of the famous fairy tale based on a libretto that his sister wrote for her children. The Regina Opera page devoted to Hansel and Gretel starts out with a "no, not that Engelbert Humperdinck" and Gilbert & Sullivan fans have had to do the Big Sigh and "no, no" ever since "Alone again, naturally" came out in 1972.
And now, of course, I have Carol Kane's voice stuck in my head saying "Humperdinck! Humperdinck!! Humperdinck!!!"
Mr. Mills has a lot to answer for.