"Can you tell us a story? Please?" said the 11 year-old boy.
"Aren't you a little too old for stories?" said the older woman with a tender smile.
"Stories never grow old!" said the 14 year-old girl
"Why don't you tell them a story about something memorable and life changing? Something worth being remembered?" said the older man. The woman looked at the man, then at the two kids.
"Okay, sit down and make yourselves comfortable and I will tell you the most memorable story you will ever hear…"
Arendelle- 14 years ago...
Opera of Arendelle, one of the most beautiful and majestic places of
the whole kingdom. It had been 13 years since the King and Queen of
Arendelle had left the throne of Arendelle to their niece and her
husband, the Prince and the Princess of Corona. The reason why they
stepped down was soon forgotten, with only legends going around the
streets and around the kingdom. Also, it had only been 3 years after the former King and Queen had
passed away during a voyage, leaving their daughter and orphan.
At the opera of Arendelle, the Royal Arts Company was rehearsing for their latest opera, the Hannibal. Ursula Seawitch was the primadonna who interpreted the main female hero. Ursula was a very well-known and talented soprano, she was the diva, the star… too bad her talent didn't go with her personality. She thought of herself as God's gift to the world and that everyone had to be at her orders 24/7, no one could say 'no' to her.
"Stop! Stop!" the director told Ursula and her loyal sidekick, tenor Radcliffe "Monsieur Lumiére, we're rehearsing" he told the man who made his way among the actors followed by other two funny looking men. One was short and skinny, with white hair perfectly pulled back, a big white mustache and small glasses on his big nose, with small blue eyes. The other man was just a little bit taller, fat, completely bald but covered it with a hat, and sideburns, he too with small blue eyes. They looked like a comic duo.
"Yes, I'm sorry for interrupting" said Monsieur Lumiére in his thick french accent "But please, Mrs. Pots, Mr. Clocksworth, I have an announcement to make" he said as Mrs. Pots, the mentor and head of the Royal Arts Company made her way towards the three. "I know that there had been rumors about my retirement, and I'd like to inform you that those rumors are true. I'd like to present you the new owners of the Opera of Arendelle: Mr. Lawrence Smith and the Duke of Weaseltown-"
"-Weselton!" corrected the stout man, irritated "It's Weselton, Monsieur Lumiére"
pardon me" Monsieur Lumiére said, clearly not caring. Meanwhile the
dancers had joined the actors, watching the scene. Among them there was a
young girl who was barely 18 years old, she was tiny, with big blue
eyes with red hair with a white streak in it. She was accompanied by her
friend Belle, a cute brunette with hazel eyes who was just a year older
"We'd like to introduce you to our generous patron, the Royal Ice Master, Sir Bjorman" said the fat man, Lawrence. Sir Bjorman made his appearance in that exact moment. The redhead dancer looked at him in awe.
"It's Kristoff" she told her friend "When we were little, before my parents stepped down the throne, we would always play together… he called me Feisty Pants… you could say we were childhood sweethearts"
"He's very handsome, Anna" Belle said smiling at her. He was handsome indeed: tall, muscular, sandy blonde hair swept to the side, sweet brown eyes and a kind smile. He was dressed elegantly in his royal uniform and looked even more handsome.
"Queen Rapunzel and Prince Eugene are very close friends of mine and the royal family and myself support every kind of art, especially our world-known Arendelle Opera" he said formally earning an applause.
"I'd like to introduce you to Ursula Seawitch, our primadonna for 5 seasons in a row" said Monsieur Lumiére as Ursula flirtingly curtsied offering her hand to Kristoff who smiled at her, taking her hand as a gentleman and letting go as she theatrically stepped back "And our tenor Radcliffe" he said as Radcliffe bowed his head, looking ridiculous in his costume as he was absolutely too fat and overly caked in make up to play Hannibal.
"Well, I don't want you to keep you from your rehearsal" said Kristoff "I wish you good luck and I'll see you tonight to witness your triumph" he said bowed his head as a goodbye and walked away as the others gave him a small applause, while Ursula kept on repeating that he already loved her. But Anna has stopped smiling.
"He didn't recognize me" she sadly told Belle.
"He didn't see you" Belle said stroking her arm with her hand to comfort her.
Ladies, let's begin" said Mrs. Pots, and as the music played, the
dancers started rehearsing, dancing with grace while the two gentleman
followed Mrs. Pots as she supervised the dancers.
"I suppose you know we take great pride in the excellency of our ballet" she said.
"And I can see why" said Lawrence "Especially looking at that exceptional brunette beauty"
"My daughter, Belle Pots" Mrs. Pots said.
"And that picture of sophisticated grace? No relation, I trust" said the Duke.
"Anna of Arendelle" Mrs. Pots said "A promising talent, Duke. Very promising"
"Anna of Arendelle? You say" said Lawrence, surprised "No relations to the former monarchs?"
"Their second daughter, their only daughter" she explained "No one knows what exactly happened to the first child; she has no memory of her elder sister. She knows she had one, but doesn't remeber a thing. Rumor is that a serious accident happened and her sister didn't make it. Another rumor is that it was the reason why her parents gave up the throne... to forget. But as you all know there are at least 100 many more gossips around the kingdom. Her family retired to a bourgeois life and she was put under my wing to live and train in the ballet company. She was left an orphan 3 years ago"
"An orphan you say?" said the Duke
"I also think of her as a daughter" she said warningly "Gentleman, could you please stand on one side?" she said pushing them to the side so that the dancers could move without risking to accidentally hit them. As the final dance was being rehearsed the two men's eyes were glued to Anna, Belle and the rest of the dancers and Ursula didn't like it, as much as she didn't like that Radcliffe had stepped on her dress and that no one was paying attention to her as she sang. As the dance ended, Ursula angrily stomped to the men until she stood right in front of them.
"I really hope that Sir Bjorman is as excited by the dancers as you two new managers, because I WILL NOT BE SINGING! I'm out of here!" she said as she dramatically stomped away "That's it! Enough! Bring me my dog and let's go!"
"What do we do?!" asked Lawrence to Monsieur Lumiére, panicking.
"Negotiate" he stated and so the two men did. They stopped Ursula and started showering her with compliments calling her things like 'goddess of song', 'princess', 'beautiful diva', as she kept saying yes to every compliment. In the end after a dramatic and anxiously awaited agreement coming from the diva, Ursula went back on the stage demanding silence as she was going to sing the aria from Act III just for the managers. As she started singing, both Anna and Belle couldn't help but try to hold back their snickering as they saw two staff members closing their ears by stuffing some cotton in them and a two dancers looking at each other in exasperation, one of them motioning the other to be quiet. It wasn't that Ursula wasn't good, the only problem was that she was more like shouting than singing. She hit every note perfectly, but wasn't graceful at all. No one noticed the dark shadow that moved above them, silently. Nobody say the dark figure losing the knot to one of the ropes holding one of the scene backgrounds right above Ursula. Suddenly there was some cracking, then Belle screamed in fear pulling Anna away, as she saw the wooden beam fall as it landed right on Ursula's ankle. There was a momentary chaos, as people helped up the indignant and shrieking Ursula to get up, that no one noticed Mrs. Pots's absence or the dark figure still looking above them only to vanish a second later, only Belle caught a glimpse of it and her eyes widen.
"It's the Snow Queen of Arendelle, she's here!" she said holding Anna's hands tightly.
"What the bloody hell is going on up there?!" Lawrence demanded.
"Don't look at me, sir. I wasn't in my post!" said Gaston, the staff member who took care of various scene changes "There is nobody here! And if there was, well… it must be a phantom!" he said laughing as he pulled back up the fallen beam. Meanwhile Mrs. Pots, was backstage checking the surroundings, then an envelope fell from above, she picked it up and examined the well-known ice seal shaped as a snowflake.
"Ms Ursula, these things do happen!" said the duke with an awkward smile. Ursula was astonished.
" 'These things do happen'?! It's been 3 years that 'these things do happen' and have you done anything to stop them from happening?! NO!" she yelled at Lumiére "And you two! You are just as bad as him! If 'this things do happen', this thing doesn't happen!" she yelled pointing at herself "Radcliffe let's go! I'M OUT OF HERE! FOR REAL! GOODBYE!" she said stalking away in anger.
"Amateurs" said Radcliffe and followed her.
"Gentlemen, good luck. If you need me I'll be in the Southern Isles" said Lumière, put on his hat and walked away as the orchestra director sighed in defeat
"Ms Seawitch will come back, right?" the Duke asked panicked. The maestro shrugged in surrender and exasperation.
"You think?" said Mrs. Pots, coming back to them "I have a message for you from the Snow Queen"
"Oh, good Lord! You're all obsessed!" said Lawrence. Mrs. Pots ignored him.
"She welcomes you to her Opera house" said Mrs. Pots
"Her Opera house?!" complained the Duke indignantly.
"And she commands that you leave box 5 empty for her use" she continued motioning towards it "And reminds you that her salary is due"
"What? Monsieur Lumiére used to give her 20,000 crowns a month" Mrs. Pots casually said.
"Perhaps you could afford more with the Royal Ice Master as your patron?"
"Madam, we would have done the announcement tonight, with the Royal Ice Master at the Gala" the Duke started while he ripped the letter apart "but it looks like we're going to have to cancel because it appears we have lost our star!" everyone sighed or murmured something, not sure if they were happy about losing Ursula or sorry that the opera was being cancelled.
"Maybe we can have the understudy perform?" Lawrence said.
"Understudy?! There is no understudy for The Ursula" the maestro said.
"A full house! We'll have to refund a full house!" the duke angrily said.
"Anna of Arendelle can sing instead" Mrs. Pots said. Anna's head snapped up as she heard her name.
"A dancer? No, no way" said Lawrence.
"She has been taking lessons from a great teacher" said Mrs. Pots placing an encouraging hand on her shoulder.
"And who might this teacher be?" the Duke said challengingly.
"I- I don't know her name, sir" she said awkwardly.
"Let her sing for you. She has been well taught. It's in her blood" Mrs. Pots said. As the two men reluctantly agreed.
"From the beginning of the aria, Miss" said the maestro as he motioned the musicians to start playing.
"This is doing nothing for my nerves" the Duke
very pretty" said Lawrence, and in that moment Anna's graceful voice
made silence rule around her as everyone listened to her sweet voice.
Think of me was the aria and she was singing it marvelously. Belle and
Mrs. Pots looked at her proudly, letting her melodious voice fill their
ears, just like the two gentlemen were doing. Her voice was nothing like
Ursula's, it was 10 times better. Before, she knew it, that evening,
Anna was singing in front of a full audience in the opera house. She was
perfect in every way. Perfect in her costume, her beauty seemed to
shine even more, her voice was like a harmonious melody filling
everybody's heart with emotion, giving the chills to Kristoff, who was
sitting in box 5 watching her. He had recognized her immediately.
Memories of their past filled his head as he was stunned by her beauty
and talent. He was going to talk to her. It was long ago the last time
since they had seen one another, he thought that she might have not
remembered him, but he sure did remember her... and he was not letting her go
again. But Kristoff wasn't the only one who's heart was filled with
feelings. Someone else was listening to Anna's voice, hidden in the
secret passageways under the stage, another heart was filling with
emotion and this emotion was pride.
When Anna was over with her aria with a perfectly executed virtuosity, she bowed at the cheering audience who was giving her a standing ovation. She herself couldn't believe her eyes. That morning she was just a dancer who was supposed to support Ursula by dancing in the background and that night she was the star, the audience was cheering and applauding for her, her dream of becoming a star of the opera, finally seemed to be closer to her more than she had ever imagined.