Snödrottningen (Snow Queen)


instruments  orchestra: 2*2*2*2* 2220 02 harp. str. piano/sampler

libretto Anelia Kadieva Jonsson after HC Andersen’s tale of the same name

commissioned by Malmö Opera

year of production 2013-16

duration 70‘   

first performance
December 17th 2016, Malmö Opera (13 shows, Dec 20, 26, 28 & Jan 6, 8, 12 2017)

premiere cast

Gerda: Frida Johansson

Kaj: Wiktor Sundqvist

Snödrottningen: Susanna Stern

Mormor / Rövarkärring / Blomstergumma: Maria Streijffert

Kråkan: Sebastian Durán

Prinsessan / Rövare:  Helena Magnusson

Prinsen / Rövare: Torstein Fosmo *

Rövarflickan: Line Juul Andersen *

Renen Bä: Bengt Krantz

Vakt / Rövare: Sara Eriksson, Tor Lind

Malmö Operaorkester,
Malmö Operas barnkör

* master students of the Opera Academy from Malmö Academy of Music

production team

Dramaturgy: Erik Fägerborn

Sets: Rikke Juellund

Costumes: Astrid Lynge Ottosen

Light design: Ulrik Gad

Choreography: Sara Ekman

Stage direction: Elisabeth Linton

Conductor: Stefan Solyom
Ass. conductor: Jan Risberg


the plot

The vicious, callous Snow Queen has secretly appointed Kaj his heir and watching him from a distance. When she sees his warm friendship with Gerda, she becomes furious, crushing her magic mirror so that shards flying in all directions and pronounces a curse: The hit by a shard to become callous and have a heart of ice.

Kaj meet by glass binding. He becomes just then kidnapped by the Snow Queen and taken to her ice castle in the north to be taught the art of being wise and emotionally cold. He receives a puzzle that will form the "love". When he resolved that he will be free to go out in the world. But the enchanted puzzle can not be solved using only common sense. In vain Kaj tries to put the pieces together.

Gerda sets off to look for him and come to a magical garden where the flowers in the middle of winter. The Snow Queen, which monitors Gerda, persuades flower-woman who lives there to keep Gerda prisoner. But the flowers in the garden and a friendly crow helps her to escape.

Gerda come to a castle in the woods. Crow helps her to come in to look for Kaj. The castle lives a prince and a princess who gives Gerda fine new clothes before she travels on. Crow think first stay at the castle but repents and follows Gerda.

The forest becomes Gerda attacked by robbers who take her to his castle. Gerda must live with a robber girl and tells her about Kaj. Crow has asked all forest birds help. They come to the castle and tell us that they have seen Kaj travel with the Snow Queen on the way to Lapland. Robber Girl's tame clean Baa born in Lapland and would love to travel there with Gerda. Robber Girl let them go.

Gerda reach the Snow Queen's ice castle where it is full of ice statues. Gerda wants to fight the Snow Queen, but has no chance against her magic. Kaj does not care and does not even look up from her puzzle. Gerda begins to cry, and when her tears falling on Kaj melts his heart up. Together, the pieces of the puzzle into a heart. The moment is broken the spell and the palace begins to melt.

The ice statues thaws up and the children becomes alive. The Crow, Reindeer Bä and all the robbers come and celebrate their victory. The Snow Queen warns them all that she should come back before she flies through a window and disappear. The children understand that we must be vigilant against evil and fight it down every day.


[…] ”början på en ny jultradition. ”[…]

"A Christmas Tale that should become a tradition"

Skånska Dagbladet

Lysande opera i Malmö”
"Brilliant opera in Malmö"


[…] ”Staerns musik är kongenial....Toner och rytmer stöts mot varandra i lekfulla utspel, sammanhållna i ett sansat temperament av dirigenten Stefan Solyom. Här finns stråk av både nordisk naturlyrik, barock- och renässansopera, musikal och elektronisk drömmusik. De skiftande klangfärgerna möter librettots tydliga dramaturgi och Elisabeth Lintons vackra iscensättning...Detta är musikalisk sagoteater med hög dramatisk intensitet och välavvägda estetiska val. ”[…]

”Staern´s music is congenial… Tones and rhythms run up

against one another in playful initiatives, held together in

a level-headed temperament by conductor Stefan Solyom.

Here there are features of Nordic nature poetry,

baroque and renaissance opera, musical and electronic

dream music. The varying timbres meet the distinct dramaturgy

of the libretto and Elisabeth Linton´s beautiful staging.

This is a musical fairy play with high dramatic intensity

and judicious aesthetic choices.”
Svenska Dagbladet

imponerande operadebut, gestaltad med både hjärta och hjärna.

"…impressive operatic debut, portrayed with both heart and mind."

Dagens Nyheter

[…] Staerns musik är kraftfull men lätt, rik på klanger och antydningar utan att vara överlastad, och hans orkester har sitt eget starka driv samtidigt som den tjänar sångarna. Staern är en skicklig musikdramatiker redan här i sin första opera. […]
"Staern´s music is powerful but light, rich in sonorities and suggestive without being overburdened, and his

orchestra has its own strong drive at the same time as it serves the singers. Staern is a skilful musical dramatist

already here in his first opera."


[…] Musikaliskt kan det inte annat än att beskrivas som en personlig triumf för Benjamin Staern  och jag är djupt imponerad av hans första opera med ett mycket njutbart illustrativt musikaliskt flöde. […]
"Musically, it can described as a personal triumph for Benjamin Staern and I am deeply impressed by his first opera with a very enjoyable illustrative musical flow."




a family opera for 8 singers, children’s chorus, orchestra

December 15th (re-premiere), 26*, 28*, January 7* 12, 16*
*doubled shows
Malmö Opera, Malmö

Susanna Stern, Snödrottningen

Frida Johansson, Gerda

Wiktor Sundqvist, Kaj

Maria Strejffert, Mormor/Blomstergumman/Rövarkärringen

Sebastian Durán, Kråkan
Bengt Krantz, Renen
Annie Fredriksson, Rövarflickan

Rövare/Vakter: Caspar Engdahl, Elisabet Einarsdottír, Martin Vanberg and Saara Rauvala.
Prinsen Martin Vanberg
Prinsessan Saara Rauvala
Malmö Operas barnkör

Malmö Operaorkester

Cathrine Winnes, conductor