The German Premiere of The Snow Queen, the debut opera from Hans Abrahamsen, will be live streamed from the Bayerische Staatsoper on STAATSOPER.TV for free on December 28. The recording will be available on demand thereafter for 30 days. This new Munich production by Andreas Kriegenburg is the first outing of the work in English and stars Barbara Hannigan, Rachel Wilson and Peter Rose.
Watch The Snow Queen on STAATSOPER.TV
'Hans Abrahamsen’s grasp of Andersen’s universe is so highly sensitive – and that has resulted in a poetic opera in a class of its own. One can say that Abrahamsen in his musical rendition of The Snow Queen has created a poem out of the fairy tale. It reaches poetic depths with impressive sound colours, in much the same way that Abrahamsen does in his work let me tell you, which has made the Danish composer world famous. There are many layers in Andersen’s fairy tale, but even more in Abrahamsen’s music.' – Jakob Wivel
Music falls into majestically long phrases and shines like ice crystals in Hans Abrahamsen’s opera The Snow Queen. He does not shy away from high C’s and Wagnerian sea spray, as he unfolds the theme of ‘snow’ in his life’s most monumental work. – Thomas Michelsen
★★★★ The Financial Times
The work’s greatest triumph, and the thing that will draw listeners back again and again, is the music. Abrahamsen’s score is a work of obsessively fine detail, of immense complexity calibrated to sound beguilingly simple, of silvery, perfumed lyricism overlaid with hallucinatory effects. Everything sounds both familiar and strangely warped. There are delicate references to familiar works — Strauss, Mahler, Bach, Wagner — more like snatches of memory than quotes; but just when things seem about to become recognisable, Abrahamsen will bend away from pure tonality to warp a note or twist an interval, to stab or spike through an arpeggio, to hurt us just enough to make us come back wanting more. It is a strange and wonderful thing. – Shirley Apthorp