Libretto by Tatiana Kalinina after the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen The Snow Queen
Musical Director and Conductor: Evgeny Volynsky
Staging, Choreography, Plastique: Alexey Stepanyuk
Stage Design, Costume Design, Puppets: Igor Grinevich
Chorus Master: Vyacheslav Podyelsky
Lighting Design: Evgeny Ganzburg
Choreography, Pastique: Tatiana Kapustina
2 hours 15 minutes
performed in Russian
Première of the production: 26 December 2009
Music for children written by Sergey Banevich is rightly loved by many generations of music lovers. “The Story of Kai and Gerda” is among the most famous works by the composer. Opera adaptation of “The Snow Queen” fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen will become an excellent reason for a family theatre visit during the New Year holidays. The Novosibirsk opera and ballet theatre’s stage production offers young theatre-goers and their adult companions to make a fascinating journey into the magic world of the ice kingdom when some of its dwellers will go down into the house...
We’re on the threshold of the fairy tale... Well, let’s start! When we reach the end of the story, we’ll know a little bit more than now.
Once upon a time there were trolls, who were very angry. Once they created a Mirror of the Evil, which reflected everything in an ugly way. The trolls were running everywhere and had all the countries, cities and all the people in the world reflected in the Mirror of the Evil.
Once they decided to crash the Mirror into numerous pieces — thus they would do many more bad things. Millions of pieces flew all around the world making much harm. The most terrible thing was that every human heart hurt by such a piece would turn into a piece of ice. The trolls were very proud of their invention. However, you’ll find out about their deeds later, and now let’s begin our story...
The Lamplighter, who will accompany us during the story, tells us that long ago Grandmother sheltered a homeless Kay and since he has got Gerda and a kind home in the nice town of Odense.
Well, this is Act I
A tiny northern town.
All the citizens of Odense are having fun on the main square. The trolls don’t like fun and they want to spoil the celebration. They are playing dirty tricks by stealth, being invisible for the people. At last, they cause a snow storm that interrupts the celebration. Two trolls disguised as ordinary people appear in the square. They notice Kay and Gerda, who are singing about spring without paying attention to anybody around, the trolls decide to set the children against each other.
There is a snowstorm in the street, but it’s warm and cozy in the house of Kay and Gerda. Watching the stars through the window, Kay feels sorrow. Gerda comforts him: while they are together, they should not afraid of cold or misfortunes. The children are playing a game “On the golden porch there were sitting...” Suddenly the angry trolls appear, invisible for the children. They throw a piece of the Mirror into Kay and disappear. Gerda is frightened to see that something terrible has happened to Kay. She is anxiously looking at his distorted face. He has changed: he doesn’t recognize anybody and tells Gerda that she has turned ugly and grimaces a lot. He also says that Grandmother is a lazy and clumsy old woman. Gerda doesn’t understand what has happened to her beloved Kay. She thinks that he has fallen ill and is delirious now. Beautiful roses seem ugly to Kay, he sees beauty only in the frostwork on the windows and can read a message from the Snow Queen. “Close your eyes, follow me,” the Snow Queen is calling Kay. “Eternity and thousands of stars are waiting for us.” Grandmother knows that the voice of the Snow Queen is only heard by a person who has a heart of ice. The trolls are triumphant: their trick has worked. The piece of the Mirror got right into Kay’s heart and it turned into a piece of ice. Kay has read the message and is waiting for the Snow Queen to come and take him to the island of Spitsbergen.
We’re in the main square again. Vagrant artists, circus folks, and gymnasts entertain the citizens. Suddenly it starts snowing. Kay is brought to the square by somebody’s will. The Snow Queen appears surrounded by her escort, and everyone freeze. The Snow Queen calls Kay to her ice palace and he follows her. Gerda feels that something terrible is happening and hurries to the square, but she is late: her beloved Kay is disappearing together with the Snow Queen.
Act II begins with a song of the wise Lamplighter, who is singing about the lonely travelers, who wander in the snow storm. Gerda has decided to find Kay at any cost and to take him home, alone she has set off to the faraway land of the Snow Queen...
In Scene 4 the action is set in the woods, where Gerda is wandering. Here is the encampment of the bandits led by the woman leader; they are celebrating their successful return from Lapland. They have caught Gerda and are going to kill the prisoner, but the leader is tired and postpones Gerda’s death until morning. When everybody leaves, the Little Bandit appears. She wants to keep Gerda to herself — she wants to have a friend, too — but having heard Gerda’s story, she is ready to believe in love and to help Gerda. The Little Bandit gives Gerda her Reindeer, as it is a native of Lapland and has seen the Snow Queen taking Kay there. Gerda says goodbye to the Little Bandit, who now believes in love, and go to the island of Spitsbergen.
The Lamplighter appears again... "The most sad thing on Earth is to know that people don’t love you. When you’re not loved, it’s worse than being hungry or thirsty, “— that’s what his third song is about.
A room in the palace of the Snow Queen. Kay surrounded by the escort is sorting the ice letters. Suddenly a snowstorm begins, foreshadowing the arrival of the Snow Queen. Kay rushes to her. The Queen asks, if Kay has completed the task, for which she has promised him the whole world and the ice skates. But Kay fails to put together the word “Eternity”, as he doesn’t know what it means The Queen gives Kay a kiss, so that he wouldn’t be disturbed by his memories, and disappears.
Gerda arrives at the palace. She sees Kay and rushes to him, but he is indifferent to her. Gerda is calling Kay home, trying to revive his memories about spring, Odense, white storks, who will walk on the roof of their sweet house. The Snow Queen ordered him to forget all these words, but Gerda’s love and her hot tears manage to melt the ice in the heart of her beloved Kay.
Suddenly the Snow Queen runs into the room. She is outraged by the arrival of the uninvited guest, who is going to take her beloved boy. Kay’s heart doesn’t belong to her any more, but she can freeze Gerda... Suddenly Kay runs towards to ice letters — now he knows what word he should put together. When he finishes, he calls Gerda and she reads the precious words “I love!” As soon as she reads them aloud, the ice palace fills with warmth and sunlight. The power of the Snow Queen is over! Kay and Gerda rush home, to their beloved Odense, where spring has come...
Let there be happiness in every house!
Let there be peace in every house!
Let the memories be good, not evil!
If something bad has happened,
Remember, whatever it is,
February is followed by March!