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Music Text

Libretto by Paolo Madron after Lewis Carroll; German version by Hanna Francesconi; English version by Benjamin Gordon (G,I,E)

Scoring

S,M,2T,Bar,B; speaking roles; children's choir;
1(=picc).1.1.1-2.1.1.0-perc(2):I=timp/lg cym/susp.cym; II=glsp/xly/cowbell/t.bells/wind chimes/SD/BD/hi-hat/susp.cym/cym/jingles/tgl/wdbl-pft-strings(5.4.3.2.1)

Abbreviations (PDF)

Publisher

Boosey & Hawkes Bote & Bock

Territory
This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

World Premiere
4/3/2021
Town Hall, Auditorium, Sha Tin
Yankov Wong, director
Conductor: Yip Wing-Sie
Company: Yip's Children's Choir / Hong Kong Sinfonietta

Roles

Alice lyric Soprano
Tweedledum / The March Hare Baritone
Tweedledee / The Dormouse Tenor
The Queen of Hearts Mezzo-Soprano
The Mad Hatter Tenor
The Duchess / The Caterpillar Bass
The White Rabbit speaking role
The Cheshire Cat speaking role (back-stage or taped)
The King of Hearts / The Cook speaking role (child or adult)
The Knave of Hearts silent role (child)
The Fish-Footman / Two speaking role (child)
The Frog-Footman / Five speaking role (child)
Seven silent role (child)
The Baby / The Pig puppet
Off-stage chorus, Playing cards, Gardeners, Courtiers, Jury etc. children's chorus and sopranos/altos
Synopsis

Bored by the colorless world around her, Alice follows a rabbit that scurries past down into the ground. Her fall ends in a room whose door leads into a garden. But for Alice, there is no way out, not even by means of the shrinking elixir and the growth-inducing cake that Alice finds in the room and ingests. Confused as to whether she is still herself, Alice begins to cry. Suddenly the twins Tweedledum and Tweedledee appear, who tell her all kinds of unseemly things and claim that Alice is merely a dream of the King of Hearts, who one hears snoring very loudly nearby in a meadow. Bizarre footmen in the form of a fish and a frog carry past a croquet invitation from the Queen of Hearts to the Duchess. Following them, Alice enters the Duchess’ house. Besides the Duchess, she encounters there the cook, who throws dishes around and with too much pepper makes everybody sneeze, a Cheshire Cat, and the Duchess’ baby, which turns out to be a pig. Further certainties are shaken when Alice subsequently attends a mad tea party at which the Mad Hatter, March Hare, and Dormouse have an absurd discussion about the nature of time.

In answer to the question of the path forward, the Cheshire Cat’s cryptic information and a philosophical Caterpillar are hardly of any help, yet when Alice eats of the mushroom on which the Caterpillar is seated, the door of the room finally opens and lets Alice into the garden. Several gardeners are busy painting white blossoms red: they made an error in the placement of the roses and now fear the wrath of the Queen of Hearts. The ruler promptly appears together with her royal household made up of playing cards. The Queen wants to behead the gardeners as punishment for their delinquency, yet Alice succeeds in hiding them. Instead of continuing to the planned croquet game, further effronteries by her subjects arouse the Queen of Heart’s anger, and ultimately a trial is announced against the Knave of Hearts who ate up the Queen’s tarts. Mad Hatter, March Hare, the Duchess, and the White Rabbit from the beginning of the adventure are called as witnesses. In spite of the entirely absurd evidence, the Queen of Hearts finds the defendant guilty. When Alice loudly raises a protest, the Queen demands that Alice’s head also roll. But this does not frighten Alice: “You’re nothing but a pack of cards!” The concluding chorus sings a song of praise to Alice and to the cheerful nonsense.

Moods

Comic, Poetic

Subjects

Literary, Magic/Mystery




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