by Jules Massenet
Friday 8 December 7.30pm
Martin André conductor
Olivia Fuchs director
Yannis Thavoris set and costume designer
Matt Haskins lighting designer
Sergej Bolkhovets assistant conductor
Bethan Rhys Wiliam choreographer, production assistant
Kevin Thraves chorus master
RNCM Opera Orchestra
A fairytale for the festive season, in Cendrillon, Jules Massenet gives the story of Cinderella a perfect French operatic form with plenty of wit and style. This opera reveals Massenet at his most inventive and highlights his gift as a comic composer.
Based on Charles Perrault’s fairytale, in this opera, Cinderella has a stepmother and two stepsisters and the 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.
Cendrillon 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.
This production will be sung in French with surtitles.
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