The Snow Queen

Gerda Lyric Soprano
Kay Lyric Tenor
The Snow Queen Coloratura Soprano
Grandmother / The Flower Lady /
The Lapp Woman Lyric Mezzosoprano
The Crow Baritone
The Crow’s Wife Mezzosoprano
The Reindeer Bass

Children Solists:
First Child, Second Child, First Bird, Second Bird, Hyacinth, Lily, Princess, Prince, The Robber’s Daughter

Children’s Chorus:
Playmates, The White Hens, Birds, The River, Flowers, Servants, Robbers, Chorus of Devils, Army of Snowflakes

Photos from the Premiere at the Staatsoper Hamburg (February 6, 2011) Copyright: Brinkhoff / Mögenburg
Conductor: Benjamin Gordon
Stage Director: Nicola Panzer
Set Design: Ingrid Irene Wachsmann
Costumes: Kirsten Fischer

Opera in two acts by Pierangelo Valtinoni
Libretto by Paolo Madron based on “The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Andersen
English Version by Benjamin Gordon (in preparation)

Following the much-acclaimed success of Pinocchio, the Komische Oper Berlin commissioned a new opera from Pierangelo Valtinoni. In 2010 Valtinoni’s long-awaited second children’s opera The Snow Queen received its premier. This time, Valtinoni took full advantage of the Komische Oper’s 120-voice children’s chorus, ingeniously dividing the chorus, creating different choral functions for each of the eight scenes. Like Pinocchio before it, The Snow Queen played two years to sold-out houses. The Snow Queen has since enraptured audiences in Dresden, Hamburg, Umeå and Vicenza.

Valtinoni strikes a balance between the representation of emotional and outward situations. Despite occasional incursions into jazz and Broadway, he never forgets that this is an opera. When Kay becomes delusional, rather than becoming dramatic, Valtinoni employs a slow waltz to point up the tragedy of the scene. And with a flick of the wrist immediately thereafter his music floods the stage with light… The pinnacle of subversive wittiness is the cannibalistic (and for a children’s opera frightfully grim) robber chorus, whose snappy waltz is peppered with sinister lamento-figures. Valtinoni exhausts all possibilities from his characters, making this a through and though Italian, if not great opera. (Matthias Nöther, Berliner Zeitung, 10.26.2010)