Snow White Twice Over
By Bronwen Saunders and Shirley L. Kearney
Theatre-goers in Basel will have two opportunities to see the beautiful princess with hair black as ebony and lips red as blood this season – as ballet and as opera. Richard Wherlock’s ballet “Snow White” at Theater Basel is to run until March and promises a fantastic night out: “Wherlock’s choreography of the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – along with assorted friends and villains – is sheer enchantment,” writes our author Shirley L. Kearney. “The 6.30 pm performance on December 26 was well-attended by ballet aficionados of all ages, and there was a festive air both in the foyer and inside the theatre. The elegant, slow and traditional movements interspersed with more physical and up-beat actions were executed to a masterful performance by the Sinfonieorchester Basel, playing Dmitri Shostakovich’s music with a rendition of ‘Tea for Two’ thrown in for the audience to hum along to. Clever stage-crafting and costumes completed the scenario. ‘Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?’ has now taken on new meanings. The back cover of the programme (in German) makes it a personal discovery.”
Starting on 20 February, Theater Basel will be showing “Schneewittchen”, an opera in five scenes with prologue and epilogue based on the 1901 play of the same name written by the Swiss writer Robert Walser. The libretto in modern German was set to music by the famous Swiss composer, conductor and Robert Walser expert Heinz Holliger, and is being staged here in Basel in honour of Holliger’s seventy-fifth birthday.