FULL CENDRILLON Des Plaines IL 2022 Chicago Summer Opera
Information on the Performance
- Work Title: Cendrillon
- Composer: Massenet Jules
- Libretto: Henri Cain    Libretto Text, Libretto Index
- Venue & Opera Company: Prairie Lakes Theater, Des Plaines, Illinois
- Recorded: July 14, 2022
- Type: Staged Opera Live
- Singers: Lily Smith, Mary Buckingham, Jessica Gu, Tara Kitchelt, Xulei Zhao, Cydney Washington, Alex Kolyszko
- Conductor: Michael Pecak
- Orchestra: Chicago Summer Opera
- Stage Director: Colter Schoenfish
- Costume Designer:
Information about the Recording
- Published by: Chicago Summer Opera
- Date Published: 2023
- Format: Streaming
- Quality Video: 4 Audio:4
- Subtitles: yessubs, ensubs
- Video Recording from: YouTube     FULL VIDEO
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THIS PERFORMANCE
Massenet’s rendition of the beloved and enduring Cinderella fairy tale opens in a storybook kingdom with Pandolfe, a country gentleman who bemoans his decision to marry the snobbish countess Madame de la Haltière and move into her home with his daughter, Lucette. Madame’s spoiled daughters, Noémie and Dorothée, are preparing to accompany their mother to the ball and hoping to attract the attention of the Prince, who must choose a wife at the dance. Madame and her daughters treat Lucette like a servant, calling her Cendrillon since she is covered with ashes. Pandolfe recognizes this injustice but is unable to stand up to his controlling wife. He resignedly joins the three haughty women at the ball, leaving Cendrillon to finish her chores.
Cendrillon wishes she could attend the ball and laments her situation, eventually falling asleep by the fire. Her Fairy Godmother enters with attendants to magically outfit Cendrillon with a gown, glass slippers, and a coach and horses to convey her to the palace. The enchanted slippers will prevent Cendrillon’s family from recognizing her, but she must leave by midnight. All goes according to plan: everyone at the ball is fascinated by the enchantingly beautiful stranger, but most of all the Prince, who declares his love for her before she must rush away at the stroke of midnight. In her haste, she leaves behind a single glass slipper.
We know how the rest of the story unfolds, but Massenet’s unique additions to the classic tale create a sumptuous, dreamlike experience that is sure to captivate anyone with a fondness for fairy tales. Massenet’s evocative musical writing is full of humor, stylistic flourishes, and soaring emotion. Premiering in 1899 in Paris, Cendrillon was an immediate success. The opera’s finale reminds us that stories are a chance to “escape the darkness of realities” and “become children again, believing in the fabulous”.