Mari Takano Homepage/Gerda (Snow Queen)
Mari Takano Homepage/Gerda (Snow Queen) Mari Takano Homepage/Snow Queen Opera "Gerda (Snow Queen)"

This work, which I had composed for many years, was completed this year (2020).
Also, I decided to change the title to "Gerda (Snow Queen)".

While original story is Andersen's Snow Queen, during composition the heroine Gerda became the main character in this opera.

Gerda is a new style of opera heroine. She is neither a bewitching woman, a villain nor a saint, but a young girl with no power.
She is similar to, for example, the main character "Nausicaa" in the animated movie "Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind" directed by Haruo Miyazaki. But while Nausicaa is still a somewhat special person, the daughter of the chieftain of the Valley of the Wind, Gerda is an ordinary girl. What they have in common is that they do their best to help animals and people with pure courage and sincere emotions.
And nowadays we see many girls and women acting that way.
For example, Mrs Malala Yousafzai, Mrs.Greta Ernman Thunberg, Mrs. Agnes Chow Tin.

They move towards according to their beliefs, not for their own gain, following their pure feelings. I feel there is the emergence of a new type of heroine to come.

And it is not my idea to write just an opera based on the fairy tale;?
I would like to relate its content to contemporary society and modern psychology on the one hand, to explore the pre-Christian and Shamanistic roots of the tale on the other, thus presenting Andersen's plot from a more universal point of view. And I want to end this opera open, so that everyone can form his/her own ideas about the end.
In particular, immediately after the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, the experience of volunteering in one of the areas devastated by the Earthquake and the experience of seeing the “Yoshida Fire Festival” at a shrine at the foot of Mt. Fuji strongly influenced my ideas about the plot of the opera.?
The libretto is in German. I write myself the text for the first act end and the third act. The Text for the second act is by German actor and director Elmar Gehlen.

I have also composed several ensemble works based on parts of the opera:

Remnants of Love (Gt duo) 2017 (Based on Kay's Aria, fourth scene of Act I )
Liebesblumen (Gt Quartet) 2019 (Based on Gerda's Aria, fourth scene of Act III.).
Shade of darkness (Fl, Vc) 2017 (Based on Aria of the Snow Queen, first scene of Act III.
Coridor of Light (Fl solo) 2012 (Based on the fifth scene of Act I.)

The following works are versions of Arias for voice and ensemble.

Flower Aria (Sop. Vn, Gt, Pf) (Gerda’s Aria, fourth scene of Act II )
Aria of the Snow Queen (Mez, Fl, Vc) (2018) (Aria of the Snow Queen, first scene of Act III )

Sample Blumen Arie

I made samples from some scenes of my opera using the Midi function of Sibelius 6. If you are interested, please them a listen! And if you have any questions concerning my opera, please feel free to contact me by E-mail:

Sample 1 (Beginning of the Fifth Scene of the First Act)
The children start their magic game that will make Kay disappear.

Sample 2 (End of the Fifth Scene of the First Act)
A gap appears in the space, dazzling light comes from the gap, Kai is taken to the Land of Eternal Snow.

Dramatis Personae (8 or/to 13, depending on number of doublings)

Gerda Soprano

Kay Tenor (may double as Prince in Act III )

Snow queen Mezzo Soprano

Sonja high Soprano (may double as Princess in Act III)

Elisa Dramatic Soprano (may double as Witch / old woman in Act II )

Ole Tenor (may double as Schnipp (1st crow) in Act II and III )

Schnapp Bariton

Hans Bariton (may double as Peter(Bandit son) in Act III )


2 Flutes (1st Flute doubling Piccolo, 2nd Flute doubling Alto Flute) 2 Oboes (2nd doubling English Horn) 2 Clarinets in B♭ (2nd Clarinet doubling Bass Clarinet in B♭)2 Bassoons (2nd doubling Contra Bassoon)

2 Horns in F 2 Trumpets in C (1st Trumpet doubling Piccolo Trumpet in D) 2 Trombones (1st tenor-, 2nd tenor-Bass-) 1 Bass Tuba

Percussion (4 players)

Keyboarder (3 players, Grand Piano and Electric Organ doubling Celesta) 1 Celesta 1 Harpsichord 1 Grand Piano 1 Electric Organ (only manual)* * (It is possible to use a synthesizer with a normal church organ setting.)

1 Harp

8 First Violins (1 Solo Violin plays in second act with two instruments, one tuned 1/6 tone (33 Cents) lower) 6 Second Violins 4 Violas (1 Solo Viola plays in second act with two instruments, one tuned 1/6 tone (33 Cents) higher) 4 Violoncelli 2 Double Basses

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©2023 Mari Takano
Mari Takano Homepage/Gerda (Snow Queen)