In his new opera of The Snow Queen, the composer draws on the storytelling power of myth and adds a dash of panto.
Recently the phone beeped and displayed a Vic Emergency warning: ‘AVALANCHE IN YOUR WATCH ZONE’. It was a nice change from ‘DAMAGING WINDS’ or ‘BUSHFIRE AT…’ and it seemed appropriate as I was just finalising the orchestration of my new opera, The Snow Queen, which will premiere in Wodonga, not far from where I live, this November.
Victorian Opera commissioned the piece as part of its ongoing commitment to new work that can easily be toured throughout regional areas and that will appeal to all ages. Like many fairy tales, Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queenis perfect for the stage: a blend of myth and panto it is, fundamentally, a quest story – a hero goes in search of something or someone and meets with various challenges along the way.
Composer Gordon Kerry and director Elizabeth Hill in rehearsal for Victorian Opera’s The Snow Queen. Photo © Victorian Opera
Our hero is a young girl, Gerda, who is determined to find her best friend, a...