The NCPA’s (National Centre for the Performing Arts) third commissioned children’s opera, Snow White, is scheduled for its premiere from March 3rd to 9th, 2018, with six performances ongoing at the Multi-functional Theatre.
The Snow White opera, based on a Brothers Grimm’s fairytale of the same name, features enthralling music alongside a stage of vibrant colours.
The NCPA has assembled an international creative team with the music written by NCPA resident composer CAI Dongzhen, whose works have been acclaimed inside and outside China.
Accomplished Swiss director and set designer, Stephan Grögler and costume designer Veronique Seymat, have joined forces with France-based projection designer, HU Tianji to orchestrate a classic with their unique perspectives. The stage’s surreal set, including mirror-like elements, presents a fanciful backdrop for audiences young and old to be mesmerized.
Composer: CAI Dongzhen
Librettist: CAI Jiahan
Conductor: YUAN Ding
Stage Director/Set Designer: Stephan Grögler
Costume Designer: Veronique Seymat
Lighting Designer: SUN Nanpu
Projection Designer: HU Tianji
Snow White (Soprano): ZHANG Xin●/CHENG Wenhui
The Queen (Mezzo-soprano): DUAN Nina/HU Yue
The Prince (Tenor): WANG Zeinan/LI Yang
Duc (Baritone): ZHAO Denghui/TONG Ziyang▲
The Mirror (Bass): HUANG Yanming
Dopey (Tenor): HOU Yongsheng▲
Happy (Soprano): WANG Meng▲
Bashful (Tenor): LI Zhijia▲
Greedy (Mezzo-soprano): ZHA Lulu▲
Sleepy (Bass): XU Da▲
Grumpy (Baritone): HAO Xiaohui▲
● NCPA Resident Singer
▲ NCPA Chorus Members
Princess Snow White of the Rainbow Kingdom is pure and kind at heart, but her stepmother, the Queen, is jealous of her beauty and sends a hunter to kill her, who uses a pig’s heart to trick the Queen and set Snow White free. The Queen receives word from her magic mirror that Snow White remains alive and has escaped to Starlight Forest. Feeling exasperated, she begins to hatch a plan.
In the Starlight Forest, the Seven Dwarfs, miners of gemstones, have returned home. They are surprised to discover a stranger, Snow White, asleep in their wooden cottage. She recounts her terrible story, while the Dwarfs, sympathizing with her, decide to offer her refuge.
The Queen disguises herself as an old woman selling silk ribbons and visits the Dwarfs’ cottage. Snow White, alone at home and naively trusting of her, escapes getting strangled to death with an enchanted ribbon. The Dwarfs arrive in the nick of time and the Queen flees in panic.
While saving Snow White, the eldest dwarf, Duc, was bitten by a poisonous snake, which the ribbon had turned into. When Snow White comes to life, she feels mournful. Her pure, crystalline tears, heal Duc’s wound. Snow White fears entangling the Dwarfs, and thinks she has no choice but to leave, but the Dwarfs insist she stay and give her a key to the Starlight Treasure House, making her part of their family.
The sly Queen has resolved to kill Snow White so she can become the most beautiful. She continues crafting her scheme and causes a poisonous apple to fall from a tree. The smallest of the Dwarfs, Dopey, picks up the apple and presents it to Snow White. She is poisoned, faints, and cannot be revived. The Queen feels overjoyed, but the magic mirror warns that her evil plan will never succeed as long as the Dwarfs are around, and she is left at a loss.
The Dwarfs are devastated and sobbing around the near-lifeless Snow White. When one of the Dwarfs drops a gemstone, he discovers it has the power to keep her breathing. The Dwarfs dedicate all splendid gemstones they have collected over the years to build a casket for Snow White to protect her body and brighten the light of life within her.
Many years later, the Prince of the Thunder Kingdom, drawn by the power of love, travels far and wide in search of the girl of his dreams. Attracted by the brilliance of the Starlight Forest, the Prince arrives at the Dwarfs’ cottage. He falls in love with the sleeping princess. When the Dwarfs tell the handsome, smitten Prince of Snow White’s lovable nature, he is overcome with the urge to take her in his arms and dances with her. She coughs up the poison apple and comes to life.
Snow White is even prettier in love and the Queen smashes her magic mirror in despair. She turns into a deranged old woman and the spell is broken. In the calm after the storm, Snow White and the Prince walk hand-in-hand into a brighter tomorrow. The Seven Dwarfs keep working together in pursuit of industrious labour, while living happily in the Starlight Forest.