THE SNOW QUEEN

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.

Premiere at 21. December 2019

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