Opera in three acts (2019)

Composer Hans Abrahamsen · Libretto by Hans Abrahamsen and Henrik Engelbrecht Hans Christian Andersen's tale
First performance of the version in English with German and English surtitles | New Production

Saturday, 28. December 2019
07:30 pm

Introductory Event: 06:30 PM

Open ticket sales

Prices K , € 132 /115 /95 /- /52 /30 /14 /10

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Premiere at 21. December 2019


This performance will be broadcasted live via the internet as part of Staatsoper.TV.

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Dates & Tickets

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Musikalische Leitung
Cornelius Meister
Andreas Kriegenburg
Harald B. Thor
Andrea Schraad
Michael Bauer
Zenta Haerter
Stellario Fagone
Malte Krasting

Barbara Hannigan
Rachael Wilson
Grandmother/Old Lady/Finn Woman
Katarina Dalayman
Snow Queen/Reindeer/Clock
Peter Rose
Caroline Wettergreen
Dean Power
Forest Crow
Kevin Conners
Castle Crow
Owen Willetts
  • Bayerisches Staatsorchester
  • Chorus of the Bayerische Staatsoper

Cast for all dates

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Learn more

Two children, Gerda and Kay, are intimately connected, as if destined for one another. But something distracts Kay’s heart and eye and suddenly they are estranged, as if they lived in two different worlds. Abducted by the Snow Queen, Kay physically disappears from Gerda’s life. She begins a long search for her friend, until she finds him again in the snow and ice, and cries the diabolical splinter out of him with her tears. With the benefit of so much more experience, both are now ready to become adults. Hans Christian Andersen’s Snow Queen fairy tale is the template for Hans Abrahamsen’s first opera. Following years of examining the “snow” theme and a lifelong analysis of Andersen’s fairy tale the Danish composer wrote it with his own libretto from 2014 to 2018: “There are so many layers in this fairy tale. You can read the text in different ways. It holds many secrets and you can interpret it in many ways.” His music with its finely changing structures and subtly adjusted repetitions give the text depth and lightness at the same time. Just a few weeks after the world premiere in Copenhagen, the Bayerische Staatsoper presents the English version premiere, with soprano Barbara Hannigan, who decisively inspired Abrahamsen to compose the opera, embodying the role of Gerda for the first time. Director Andreas Kriegenburg stages The Snow Queen as the story of adults for an adult audience, as a journey into the inner sanctum of the human soul.

Recommended age: 16 years and older


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Cornelius Meister, geboren in Hannover, ist seit 2010 Chefdirigent und Künstlerischer Leiter des ORF Radio-Symphonieorchesters Wien (RSO). Zudem ist er designierter Generalmusikdirektor der Staatsoper Stuttgart. Engagements führten ihn an Häuser wie die Deutsche Oper Berlin, die Semperoper Dresden, die Staatsoper Hamburg, die Staatsoper Wien, das Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, das Teatro alla Scala in Mailand, die Oper Zürich, die San Francisco Opera sowie zu den Salzburger Festspielen. Er leitete Orchester wie das Concertgebouworkest Amsterdam, das City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, das BBC National Orchestra, das Orchestre de l’Opéra national de Paris, das Ensemble Intercontemporain, das Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich und die Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester des NDR, SWR und BR. Als Pianist ist er Preisträger des Deutschen Musikwettbewerbs und des Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festivals. Als Dirigent erhielt er 2007 den Preis für das beste Konzertprogramm des Deutschen Musikverleger-Verbands und einen Junge Ohren-Preis für seine Musikvermittlungsarbeit in Heidelberg. Seit der Spielzeit 2018/19 ist er Generalmusikdirektor der Staatsoper Stuttgart.

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