The Snow Queen

Opera 14.11–1.12

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The Snow Queen

H.C Andersen´s classic tale serves as the basis for The Snow Queen – an extravagant, fantasy-filled opera adventure for the whole family. It´s the story of strong-willed Gerda, who sets out to save her friend Kaj from the clutches of the evil Snow Queen.

The main characters in Pierangelo Valtinoni's The Snow Queen are the children Gerda and Kaj. The two often visit Gerda's grandmother, whose home is full of relics of the past that fire their imaginations and inspire their games. But the games end disconcertingly when Kaj disappears without a trace on Gerda's birthday. No one knows that he has been bewitched and lured into following the mighty Snow Queen to her far-away snow kingdom. Gerda refuses to believe that Kaj is beyond rescue, however, and sets out on an adventure-filled journey to find her friend that takes her through enchanted gardens, majestic castles and gloomy forests.

Set and costume designer Bente Rolandsdotter has conjured up a fantastic and brilliantly coloured world for this production that has kept NorrlandsOperan's creative workshops and studios occupied for most of the year. Indeed, from beginning to end, no effort or expense has been spared on this production. Valtinoni's melodious music is performed by NorrlandsOperan Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Andreas Hanson and a total of fiftythree children and six adult soloists will take the stage during the performance.

Director Staffan Aspegren, who has previously worked at NorrlandsOperan on Eugene Onegin, Rusalka, Sjökor och Stekare and West Side Story, is one of Sweden's best-known directors and knows what it takes to enthral young audiences.

“You shouldn't 'kneel down' when telling stories to children. Sure, they have to be accessible and understandable, but they also need to be incredibly exciting and, at times, truly frightening. Everyone knows that things work out for the best in stories. So that gives you room to live it up a little bit.”

In Gerda, we meet a true heroine: brave, quick-witted and with a will of iron. But Gerda also has other sides to her character that make her easy to identify with, Aspegren reveals.

“Gerda is a little bit like a civilised Pippi Longstocking. But her strength also makes her vulnerable. It makes her daring and impulsive. Her boldness is probably linked to the fact that, in reality, she's very much alone.”

Italian composer Valtinoni kept the sentimental aspect of H.C. Andersen's story in mind in his composition and Aspegren continues in the same vein as he finds his way to an absurd and dream-like narrative: “Fantasy is the element we focus on most. Everything is permeated by a love for the theatre's storytelling magic. On stage, in front of our eyes, anything at all can happen.”

Buy your Snow Queen ticket before midsummer, 21st June, pay 100 kr/pc
Buy your Snow Queen ticket between 22nd June and 21st July, pay 150 kr/pc
Buy your Snow Queen ticket between 22nd July and 11th August, pay 200 kr/pc

From 12th August the price is 290 kr/pc (regular price).

Please note: no discounts on the opening day, 14th november.

Music: Pierangelo Valtinoni
Libretto Pablo Madron, Swedish interpretation by Rikard Bergqvist
Conductor Andreas Hanson
Director Staffan Aspegren
Stage management & costume design: Bente Rolandsdotter
Lightning design: Niklas Elfvengren
Mask design Theresia Frisk

On stage:
NorrlandsOperan´s children´s choir
Gerda Alexandra Büchel
Kaj Fredrik af Klint
Grandmother/Woman with flowers/Woman on the mountain Ulrika Tenstam
Uncle Blue/Mr Raven/The reindeer Lars Arvidson
Mrs Raven Lotta Kuisma
The Snow Queen Veronica Janunger
NorrlandsOperan´s Symphony Orchestra

The opera will be sung in Swedish with Swedish subtitels.


At NorrlandsOperan, we want to help people living outside Umeå also enjoy opera performances. To help make this a reality, non-Umeå residents can apply for an allowance to cover bus fares. Organisers and assocations can get a group together, book tickets, hire a bus and come to the opera! The allowance is a standard amount determined by the distance you need to travel to reach Umeå. NorrlandsOperan will pay the allowance to the group's organisers after the performance.
For more information, contact Helene Säfström, marketing office, at: