Calling all fact fans!
We’ve put together some of our favourite facts about Hans Christian Anderson for you to have a read of before you come to The Snow Queen, there’s some really fun facts in here and I will now be sleeping with a note beside my bed too, intrigued … read on.
“The Snow Queen” was first published on the suitably festive date of 21st December 1844, as part of a collection of Danish Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen. Through the years Andersen’s works have been replicated in more than 125 languages, not all of them have stuck to the narrative or meaning of his original work.The critically acclaimed “Frozen,” the 2013 Disney movie hit staring the wonderful Kristen Bell as Anna, bears hardly no resemblance to its original inspiration. Despite that it managed to make 1.276 billion at the box office and the acclaimed song ‘ Let It go’ sung by Idina Menzel won an Academy and a Grammy award.
The Snow Queen has also been made into opera, ballets, video games, stage plays and musicals. The first opera was composed in 1992 staring soprano Jane Marian Manning OBE. Currently the Scottish Ballet are performing a UK tour of this winter magical tale, music by Rimsky-Korsakov and choreographed by Christopher Hampson.
It’s often suggested that some of his works are autobiographical, some say Andersen met a Swedish opera singer named Jenny Lind in 1840, and fell madly in love with her. But it was an unrequited love, although they formed a friendship the industry elite claim Andersen was inspired to base the icy-hearted Snow Queen character on Jenny Lind after she rejected him as a potential suitor.
Andersen’s tales are synonymous with children’s parables, from the same collection comes: The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Little Mermaid, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, The Red Shoes, The Princess and the Pea, The Ugly Duckling, The Little Match Girl, and Thumbelina.
Andersen would have been very comfortable with theatrical adaptations of his works, spending his choldhood as he did in the Royal Danish Theatre. When his beautiful soprano voice broke he decided to become a poet, and the theatre’s director took him on as a protegee, funding his place at grammar school and even gaining patronage from King Frederick VI.
Due to the success of Andersens work, International Children’s Book Day is held on April 2nd each year in honour of Andersen’s birth date.
If you want to do some good this Christmas, and get a little bit more of a Hans Christian Andersen fix, look up the mobile app ‘Giving Tales’. It features the classic fairy tales read by famous actors, so you can drift off to The Princess and the Pea read by Sir Roger Moore, or Stephen Fry’s rendition of The Ugly Duckling. Plus, the app benefits children all over the world through UNICEF.
To finish, an intriguing fact about the famous novelist; he had a weird phobia about being buried alive, he would often put a note by his bed while asleep, “I only appear to be dead.”
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