About gSnow queenh
The original story is of course the well-known fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. In the tale, the heroine Gerda travels many lands to look for her friend Kai who is taken away by snow queen; Gerdafs quest is at the same time the story of her growth as a human and as a woman too, and in the end she reaches the castle of the Snow queen. However, 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. The triple catastrophe of March 11, 2011 in Japan, the earthquake which was strong in Tokyo (where Ifm living) too, the devastating tsunami, and the explosion of the nuclear power plant in Fukushima had a strong influence on my ideas about the plot of the opera. In the wake of these tragedies, I somehow had a vision of the overture of the opera, and it was only then that I realized how the oper could start.
In general, my music tends to reflect multitudinous influences from avantgarde to jazz, pop, ethnic music, classical and pre-classical European music etc., and I think this tendency will become even clearer in the opera.
The libretto is in German. I write myself the text for the first act end and the third act. There is the possibility that I make an English version of the text.
As in the original story, in the first act, the young boy Kai, who lives in a northern country, is taken away by the Snow Queen to the Land of Eternal Snow.
The beginning of the opera is set up as follows. Playing children bully a big beautiful fox who is nobody else than an incarnation of the Snow Queen. Kai helps the fox who escapes. The children are very angry. They say: Perhaps the fox is an incarnation of the Snow Queen, so Kai must go to the Land of Eternal Snow in order to find the fox again and capture it. They begin a strange game with strong magical undertones. At the same time, the Snow Queen, having been helped by Kai, wants to take him with her, because he is a beautiful boy. She too casts a magic spell at Kai and takes him to the Land of Eternal Snow. The intertwining spells are expressed by the melodies and and the structure of the music. To their shock, the children suddenly find that Kai has disappeared from the circle they drew on the ground during their game, and the first act closes. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
If necessary, small changes in the instrumentation can be made.
2 Flutes (1st Flute doubling Piccolo, 2nd Flute doubling Alto Flute) 2 Oboes (2nd doubling English Horn)
2 Clarinets in Bó (2nd Clarinet doubling Bass Clarinet in Bó)
2 Bassoons (2nd doubling Contra Bassoon)
2 Horns in F
2 Trumpets in C (1st Trumpet doubling Piccolo Trumpet in D) 2 Trombones (1st Tenorbass, 2nd Contrabass)
1 Bass Tuba
Percussion (4 players)
Keyboarder (3 players, Grand Piano and Electric Organ doubling Celesta) 1 Celesta
1 Grand Piano
1 Electric Organ (only manual)*
* (It is possible to use a synthesizer with a normal church organ setting.)
8 First Violins
(1 Solo Violin plays in second act with two instruments, one tuned ? tone (33 Cents) lower) 6 Second Violins
(1 Solo Viola plays in second act with two instruments, one tuned ? tone (33 Cents) higher) 4 Violoncelli
2 Double Basses
Dramatis Personae (8 or/to 13, depending on number of doublings)
(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)
(may double as Schnipp (1st crow) in Act II and III)
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without permission of the composer.
©2012 Mari Takano