RNCM Opera presents Massenet’s Cinderella

We bring a little festive magic to the College this December when RNCM Opera presents Jules Massenet’s enchanted Cinderella (Cendrillon).

Directed by Olivia Fuchs, whose credits include the Royal Opera House, ENO and Opera North, and conducted by Martin André, who teamed up with Fuchs in 2013 for critically-acclaimed productions of Hansel und Gretel and The Rake’s Progress at Garsington Opera, Cinderella features talented students from our School of Vocal Studies and Opera, with set and costume design by Yannis Thavoris.

Based on Charles Perrault’s fairytale, in this opera, Cinderella has a stepmother and two stepsisters and a Fairy Godmother who helps her to go to the palace ball. However, after midnight, the opera takes a different turn from the original tale: upset by the hateful suggestions of her stepmother and stepsisters, Cinderella runs away from home. Feverish, she arrives in the Fairy Godmother’s magic forest and meets the Prince once more. He recognises the beautiful, mysterious girl from the ball and offers her his heart.

Months later, when we catch up with Cinderella again, her father has convinced her that it was all a dream. But, when the Prince is travelling the length and breadth of the country to find the owner of the glass slipper, he recognises Cinderella and she returns his love.

Cinderella is a thrilling work, alive with drama, humour and even a touch of bitter sarcasm. It takes us to a fanciful time and place, with vividly drawn characters, magical love, and enchanting dreams – plus the music is as appealing, and dreamily expressive, as anything Massenet ever composed.

Professor Lynne Dawson, Head of School, said: ‘Opera is a huge part of our DNA at the RNCM. We’ve been creating original productions for over 40 years now and they present a unique and very special opportunity to see our singers on the brink of their professional careers.

‘For this production we are hugely thrilled to welcome Olivia Fuchs and Martin André as guest director and conductor, both of whom enjoy exceptional careers with opera companies worldwide.’

Each year RNCM Opera presents three varied productions. Recent highlights include Offenbach’s La Vie Parisienne, Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Weill’s Street Scene, Lehár’s The Merry Widow, Sondheim’s Company and a vocal and jazz band event – Too Darn Hot. The RNCM boasts a substantial list of successful vocal and opera alumni, many of whom are now tutors at the College. A significant number of alumni appear regularly at major international opera houses and concert halls, including Barry Banks, Alice Coote, Sara Fulgoni, Simon Keenlyside, David Kempster, Andrew Shore, Dame Ann Murray and Sir John Tomlinson. Recent alumni singing internationally include Kathryn Rudge, Soraya Mafi, Sarah Tynan, Christopher Turner and Nadine Livingston.

This is the second time the RNCM has presented Massenet’s opera, the first being in 1992 when the cast included Sara Fulgoni in the title role, Kathleen Wilkinson as the wicked stepmother and Stephen Chaundy as Prince Charming.

Twenty five years on, this production runs between Wednesday 06 and Saturday 16 December and forms part of our year-long French Connections festival celebrating the music of France and its impact across the world. It will be performed in French with English surtitles.

Book your tickets here.

13 October 2017