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Work of the Week – Elisabeth Naske: Die feuerrote Friederike

Does my hair color make me a worse person? This is the question Friederike has to ask herself in the children's opera Die feuerrote Friederike (“Fiery Frederica”). The play, based on the children's book of the same name by Christine Nöstlinger, can now be seen in Switzerland for the first time. The new production will open at Theater St. Gallen on 16 November 2023, directed by Annika Nitsch and conducted by Stéphane Fromageot.

Die feuerrote Friederike is a play about being different and about self-assertion. The small cast, enriched with an electric guitar, radiates the wit and cheekiness of the main character. Friederike wonders: "Everyone likes red socks, red shoes, red apples, red cars and much more, but why does nobody like red hair? Especially not the children! They shout: "Here comes the fiery Frederica! Fire! Fire! There's a fire on her head! Watch out, the red one is coming!"

Die feuerrote Friederike by Elisabeth Naske: being different is magical!

Friederike tries to cut off her red hair, but it grows back very quickly. She learns from her aunt Anna, who used to be red-haired herself, that it is unusual red hair that she inherited from her father. And this red hair has unusual abilities - and so a few very unusual things happen.

There is only one person in a million who has magic red hair, but there are thousands who are like Friederike. (Christine Nöstlinger)

At Theater St. Gallen, Friederike will experience her adventures after the premiere in 14 further performances until 20 March 2024. From spring, two further operas by Elisabeth Naske for young audiences will be performed. Both of themDas kleine Ich bin ich (“Little I-Am-Me”) at Staatstheater Darmstadt, and Vom kleinen Maulwurf, der wollten wissen, wer ihm auf den Kopf gemacht hat (“The Story of the Little Mole who knew it was none of his business”) at Staatstheater Saarbrückendeal with the subject of identity and self-image.

Elisabeth Naske: Composer Profile 

Die feuerrote Friederike: Work Details and Online Score  

Website Theater St. Gallen 

photo: Volksoper Wien


Head of Promotion | Concert Opera Media Division

Schott Music Mainz