THE SNOWMAN BALLET (ORCHESTRAL VERSION IN ONE ACT) op.452 (July 1993)

A ballet with choreography by Robert North and music by Howard Blake
Published by: Chester Music
Commissioned by: Gothenburg Ballet, Sweden
Instrumentation: 2121 2100 2pc pno/cel str, solo soprano

[Key to Abbreviations]
Note on Lyrics: Song 'Walking in the air', music and lyrics by Howard Blake
Duration: 55 mins
First Performance: Stora Theatre, Gothenburg, Sweden, 4th December 1993.
Sheet Music Available
Full score for hire
Study score for hire
Orchestral parts for hire
Instrumental / piano score for hire

All sheet music for "The Snowman" and "Walking In The Air" since 2010 is published and available from Chester Music Ltd, part of The Music Sales Group, www.chesternovello.com It can be purchased online from MusicRoom.com, or from music retailers.

"Walking In The Air" is also available in a concert piano-only version arranged by the composer direct from Highbridge Music as part of the collection of piano pieces called "Lifecycle", available form Amazon or from Highbridge Music; enquiries to anna@annamenzies.com

Howard Blake describes 25 years of The Snowman animated film and 10 years of The Snowman Stage Show at Sadler's Wells Peacock Theatre in London's West End and plays "Walking in the Air". View the recording here.

The classic original Columbia album conducted by Howard Blake with treble soloist Peter Auty and narration by Bernard Cribbins is available from Sony Music Entertainment CDX71116CD, Amazon and retailers.

The 2010 DVD film of The Snowman Live Stage Show narrated by Joanna Lumley is available from Sony Music Entertainment, CDR 81267; also from Amazon and retailers.

Notes


The first ballet version of 'The Snowman' in 1993 was in one act lasting 55 minutes. It was based on the book by Raymond Briggs and the film by TVC with additional material by Robert North and Howard Blake (who wrote 30 minutes of additional music for it). It ran succesfully for a Christmas season at The Stora Theatre in Gothenburg in 1993 and transferred to the new opera house (Goteborgs Operan) with seasonal runs (1994-1996). In 1997 Robert North agreed to collaborate with the artistic director of Birmingham Repertory Theatre Bill Alexander and composer Howard Blake to revise a 2-act stage version that Bill and Howard had created (also in 1993). For this version new scenes had been added and Howard had composed a further 30 minutes of music. Robert North decided to use a specially-chosen cast of dancers with miming and acting skills, in the process perhaps creating a new genre- certainly a unique piece of dance-theatre. This proved succesful and was filmed the following summer by Thomas Grimm for Reiner Moritz and being shown on BBC TV at Christmas.  This version was now in two acts and lasted about 84 minutes. However in 2000 it was felt both by Howard Blake and Ian Albery (then head of Sadler's Wells, who were backing the London version of the show at The Peacock), that the second act could be improved. Howard re-arranged the acts musical numbers and introduced the characters of the Ice-Princess and Jack Frost, writing a dramatic 'Storm Dance' for him. When Robert North mounted a production of The Snowman ballet for Scottish Ballet in 2001 he largely followed this new format, also casting his production in two acts and also adding the characters of Jack Frost and the Ice-Princess. The earlier one-act ballet had thus to an extent been replaced by the longer version, whose content has remained unaltered since the revisions of 2000.

Related Works


'THE SNOWMAN CONCERT VERSION (to be performed with optional projected film, or narration, or both), for boy soprano and orchestra' op.323 (October 1983) (Audio Sample Available)
A concert version of the score for the animated film

Related Autobiography Chapters


Israel, The Piano Quartet, The Remarkable Rocket, The New National Songbook (1974)
The Snowman Ballet, The Snowman Stage Show and 'The Land of Counterpane' (1993)

[Back to top]