“Cendrillon” is currently on stage at Lyric Opera of Chicago, United States.
Lyric premieres the production, of “Cendrillon” by Jules Massenet, which is new to Chicago. The songs are sung in French with projected English translations.
“Massenet adapted Cinderella with an irresistible blend of wit, sensitivity, and elegance. ‘Blissful’ and ‘enchanting’ aptly describe this version of everyone’s favorite fairytale. The approximate runtime of the opera is 2 hours, 45 minutes with an intermission. It is produced in association with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, London; Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona; Theatre Royal de La Monnaie, Brussels; and Opera de Lille. This production was first performed at The Santa Fe Opera,” writes the Lyric Opera website.
“Cendrillon” is an opera based on the story of Cinderella. It is presented in four acts by Massenet, the French libretto was by Henri Cain influenced from Perrault’s 1698 version of the Cinderella fairy tale. The opera had its premiere in 1899 in Paris. Massenet’s sense of humor and wit reflect in his work.
The opera was conceived by both Massenet and Cain while they were attending the premiere of Massenet’s La Navarraise in June 1894 in London. The composer started working on the score in Pont-de-l’Arche. The final touches were given in Nice in 1895/96.
The trivia has it that during its premiere, Massenet had announced in Le Figaro that “Cendrillon” would be his last lyric work which was not meant to be and many more followed. Also, the signature score is dedicated to Mademoiselle Julie Giraudon, who is the creator of the title role and eventually married Henri Cain.
Act 1 opens with Pandolfe, the second husband of Madame de la Haltiere, wonders why he married a selfish countess with her two daughters, and ignored his loving daughter Lucette (Cendrillon). Madame de la Haltiere and her daughters Noemie and Dorothee dress up while the mother tells them how to attract the prince’s attention at the ball. Later when they leave, Cendrillon enters, wishing she could also have gone to the ball. After completing her chores she falls asleep, the Fairy Godmother along with her attendants comes in, transforms Cendrillon making her ready for the ball, giving her glass slippers. However, she warns the girl that the spell would last until midnight. Cendrillon sets off for the ball.
The opera is currently on stage through January 20, 2019, at Lyric Opera of Chicago, 20 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago.
Click on the slideshow for a sneak peek at the opera.