Music and libretto by Luigi Zaninelli (1996)
Based on the fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm (1819)
Conductor: Michele Mariotti
Director: Vivien Hewitt
Costumes: Regina Schrecker
Lighting and sets: Alex Koziara
The opera is a coproduction between Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Formazione and Syracuse University of Florence, included in the educational plan supported by the Province of Florence. It was staged at Maggio Musicale Fiorentino’s Piccolo Teatro and premiered on the 19th of march 2006 with a Gala Event, whose proceeds benefited Meyer Children’s Hospital.
According to Regina Schrecker, the opera Snow White was set in an “imaginary Middle Ages”. In harmony with Vivien A. Hewitt’s spectacular direction, the fanciful costumes provided a vivid first impression of each character’s personality. The Good Queen and her ladies-in-waiting, for example, wore exquisite Flanders flax with discreet, translucent embroidery. The Princess Snow White appeared in pure white and wearing a graceful crown adorned with innumerable white pearls, introduced to Europe from the East, just as was the precious blood-red silk of the Evil Queen’s cloak and gown. The tunics worn by the Seven Dwarfs were fashioned in boiled wool, simple and well suited for hard manual labor, while Prince Charming dressed sumptuously in fur-lined velvet. The Evil Queen, passionate, feminine, wicked, and the story’s true leading lady, was seated on a throne that seemed to have been sculpted out of solid rock, a clear reference to the works of Gaudí. Even the “mirror,” designed in a fantastical shape with a unicorn’s horn, a tail, and hooves, conjured up a living steeple descended from one of the majestic cathedrals of the late Middle Ages.
According to Matteo Renzi, who was the Province’s President at the debut of the opera, “It is an original proposal from Maggio Musicale Fiorentino that we wanted to include in the project ‘Costruttori di cittadinanza’ because it allows the young people to approach the theater in an innovative and engaging way”.