Of Massenet’s three-dozen operas Cendrillon does no deserve to be the neglected stepsister of Manon and Werther. Its composer had been in the operatic trenches of French opera and its intrigues for thirty-four grueling years when he composed and premiered this version of Perrault’s Cinderella in 1899. Jules Massenet knew how to write an opera.
The newly refurbished Salle Favart of the Opéra-Comique hosted the premiere production, a high tech affair for its time that included all kinds of special effects and electric lighting. The works had been perfected after a rehearsal period that went on for three months.
Massenet outdid himself creating lovely music for a sizeable cast of eleven principals and a singing and dancing ensemble of courtiers, lords and ladies, princesses, dewdrops and disembodied spirits.
The story is the familiar one: there’s two ugly stepsisters, a horrendous stepmother, the lovely Cinderella, a Prince in search of his Princess. There’s a Fairy Godmother and a happy ending. There’s a lost high-heel shoe and a nifty scooter, rather than a slipper and a horse-drawn coach in CCM’s modern-dress production.
On stage at CCM, you can be sure, there will be plenty of good-looking young singers who can both look and sing the parts.You can also expect great things from the CCM production team.
Save the dates: November 17 and 19 at 8 pm and November 20 at 2 pm. Tickets: 513-556-4183.