Stage Door News

Toronto: Essential Opera presents “Mirror, Mirror” on YouTube October 28

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Mirror, Mirror is a mini-opera based on the Grimm fairy tale Snow White. This story uses the Snow White/Evil Stepmother template to look at how women and their relationships with one another are affected by external pressure to be forever young and beautiful. In the piece, the loving Mother Queen is transformed into the Evil Queen, triggered in part by her own obsession with her looks and how she is perceived, and in part by her daughter Snow White's transformation from a child into a beautiful young woman. Snow White, meanwhile, in absorbing her mother’s messages about the paramount importance of beauty, is in turn destined to become an Evil Queen in her own right.

The characters embody the triune relationship of the Maiden, Mother, and Crone, both in how they interact with one another and in that every woman will be each of the three during her life. The Crone represents the logical conclusion of the Queen’s path; the Queen at one point would have been innocent and fresh like Snow White; Snow White is, by the end of the piece, well on her way to becoming a Queen. As a final act of (self?) sabotage, the Crone provides Snow White with the instrument of her destruction: an apple as poisonous as it is beautiful. 

History of the work:

This 15-minute work was originally written for solo voice and electronics. It was created for and premièred by Janice Jackson in 2012. In 2015, Anna created a stunning visual score you can see here: ( In 2016, Essential Opera programmed it for our “She’s The One” production, where Anna adapted it for two voices: sopranos Julie Ludwig and Maureen Ferguson. Now, EO co-founders and co-ADs Erin and Maureen are thrilled to present this work in a short film. 


Producer: Essential Opera

Music and libretto: Anna Pidgorna

Evil Queen/Mother: Erin Bardua soprano

Snow White: Maureen Batt, soprano

Voices in electronics: Erin Bardua soprano, Janice Jackson

Camera operators: Erin Bardua, Maureen Batt, Richard Belding, Elizabeth Jewett, Vicki St. Pierre

Head here to set a YouTube reminder: Mirror, Mirror on YouTube

Head to the Facebook event to RSVP there: Mirror, Mirror Facebook event.