Cendrillon

Cendrillon

Jules Massenet

FAIRY TALE in four acts by Jules Massenet
Libretto by Henri Cain after Charles Perrault’s tale
Premiered at the Opéra Comique on 24 May 1899

Presentation of the work by Agnès Terrier 40 minutes prior to each performance

Marc Minkowski & Benjamin Lazar

Judith Gauthier / Blandine Staskiewicz, Michèle Losier, Eglise Gutiérrez, Ewa Podleś, Laurent Alvaro, Aurélia Legay, Salomé Haller, Laurent Herbaut, Vincent de Rooster, Julien Neyer, Paul-Henri Vila
Dancers, Luciana Dariano, Alex Sander Dos Santos, Ana Mariolani, Danila Massara, Gudrun Skamletz

Orchestre and Choir des Musiciens du Louvre - Grenoble

 

Presentation

Romanticism largely drew from the world of fairy tales to produce entrancing music and display on stage its vocal enchantment with a constant theatrical inventiveness. Taking advantage of the new wonders of electricity, opéra-féérie became a full-fledged genre in the late 19th century. For the third Salle Favart, inaugurated in 1898 and furnished with the latest electrical equipment in Europe, Massenet wrote Cendrillon, an operatic version of Perrault’s Cinderella in the form of a cheerful comedy. Metamorphoses, ball scenes and colorful characters provided an ideal material to Massenet who produced his seventh work for the Opéra Comique. With his usual subtlety in the depiction of feelings, Massenet composed for Cendrillon one of his most accomplished scores, combining to perfection melodic inspiration with a virtuosic use of the styles and colors of the time.


With the support of:

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Cast

Musical direction, Marc Minkowski
Stage direction, Benjamin Lazar
Collaborator stage direction, Louise Moaty
Choregraphy, Cécile Roussat andJulien Lubeck
Stage design, Adeline Caron
Costumes, Alain Blanchot
Lighting, Christophe Naillet
Make-up, Mathilde Benmoussa
Special effects, Thierry Collet
Musical assistant, Nicholas Jenkins
Assistante scénographie, Malanda Loumouamou
Choral director, Nathalie Dang et Marine Thoreau La Salle

Cendrillon, Judith Gauthier / Blandine Staskiewicz *
Le Prince Charmant, Michèle Losier
La Fée, Eglise Gutiérrez
Mme de La Haltière, Ewa Podleś
Pandolfe, Laurent Alvaro
Noémie, Aurélia Legay
Dorothée, Salomé Haller
Le Roi, Laurent Herbaut
Le Doyen de la Faculté, Vincent de Rooster
Le Surintendant des plaisirs, Julien Neyer
Le Premier Ministre, Paul-Henri Vila
Dancers, Luciana Dariano, Alex Sander Dos Santos, Ana Mariolani, Danila Massara, Gudrun Skamletz

Orchestre et Chœur des Musiciens du Louvre - Grenoble

Production, Opéra Comique
Co-production, Opéra de Saint-Étienne – Grand Théâtre de la ville de Luxembourg Associate Co-production, Palazzetto Bru Zane – Centre de musique romantique française

*: Monday 7, Friday 11 et Tuesday 15 of march


With the support of:

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Synopsis

Act I
Pandolfe, a weak-minded commoner, is sorry he left the country to marry the Countess de la Haltière, especially as his daughter Lucette is rejected by her stepfamily who call her Cendrillon. Resorting to a great many artifices, the ambitious countess prepares her two daughters Noémie and Dorothée to attend the king’s ball. Left alone, Cendrillon thinks about the ball with regret and tidies up the house before falling asleep in the hearth. Her godmother the Fairy appears and bids her elves to produce a sky-colored gown and a full carriage. Upon awakening, metamorphosed Cendrillon leaves for the ball with the promise to return before midnight. Her enchanted slippers will make her unrecognizable to her family.

Act II
At the king’s palace everything is ready for the ball but the courtiers, doctors and ministers cannot relieve the gloomy Prince Charming who despairs to find love. As dances succeed each other for the prince to choose a bride, Cendrillon enters. They fall in love at first sight. But at the stroke of midnight Cendrillon runs away.

Act III
Back home, Cendrillon is sorry she lost one of her slippers in her flight. Her stepsisters and stepmother arrive shortly thereafter, enraged that the ball was curtailed by the departure of the unknown girl whom they slander. Cendrillon is upset. Although Pandolfe found the strength to drive away the three harpies and promised Cendrillon to take her to his country home, she decides to flee to the fairies’ Oak. Under the Oak, the elves and spirits gathered around the Fairy disperse as Cendrillon and Prince Charming arrive from different directions. They both entreat the Fairy to meet again. They recognize each other’s voices but cannot see one another. The Fairy allows them to embrace before plunging them into a magic slumber.

Act IV
Several months have elapsed and Cendrillon emerges from a long sleep punctuated with visions. She wonders whether she has dreamt everything, which her father confirms. But a call from the street comforts her: the herald summons all the kingdom’s maidens to try on the lost slipper. The maidens assemble in the court of honor at the palace. The faint Prince is brought back to life by Cendrillon’s arrival. Pandolfe is stupefied by their reunion while Madame de la Haltière shows boisterous merriment.


With the support of:

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