Children’s opera for four voices and seven dwarves (2016)
Wolfgang Mitterer based on Engelbert Humperdinck
Gerhard Dienstbier based on Adelheid Wette
Recommended for ages 6 and up
In 1888, before he wrote his world-famous fairy tale opera, he worked on a Liederspiel about the tale of Snow White, for which – as with »Hänsel und Gretel« – his sister Adelheid Wette had written a libretto. Humperdinck did not get very far with the work, and there are only four surviving songs from it. In 2016, the Austrian composer Wolfgang Mitterer, whose Grimm brothers’ opera »Das tapfere Schneiderlein« had been performed at the Werkstatt im Schiller Theater in 2012, began to work on completing Humperdinck’s fragment according to the original libretto. For the missing sections, he drew on the music of Humperdinck’s other fairy tale operas, »Hänsel und Gretel«, »Dornröschen« and »Die Königskinder«. Mitterer juxtaposes the layer of original music by Humperdinck, scored for piano, contrabass and percussion, with an entirely different soundscape of electronic feeds. Along with the four singers, who take on shifting roles in the fairy tale, the seven dwarves are of course also present: they are played by children from the children’s choir of the Staatsoper, who give strong support to Snow White in her struggle against the evil queen.
Supported by the Association of the Friends and Supporters of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden