Just in time for the holiday season a whimsical retelling of the classic fairytale Cinderella comes to Lyric Opera of Chicago. It is a story of how a mistreated girl overcomes the odds to find her Prince Charming with a little help from her fairy godmother. Meet Jules Massenet’s Cendrillon, a colorful new production currently on stage at the Lyric.
Arguably France’s most commercially successful opera composer in the last quarter of the 19th century, Massenet knew how to please the public. The opera’s appeal stems from it’s quite extraordinary heart, which is personified in its sweetly charming heroine. We couldn’t help but fall in love with this demure Cinderella. Cendrillon is equal parts witty and romantic. From the stepsisters’ funny outbursts, to the soaring melodic lines of Cinderella and Prince Charming’s duet, Massenet has crafted the perfect music to match a delightful fairytale. Children and adults alike will love this familiar story and will marvel at the beautiful singing and charming visuals.
“I am thrilled to introduce this enchanting and magical piece to Lyric audiences for the first time,” says Lyric general director Anthony Freud. “Laurent Pelly’s production is endlessly witty and alluring, and Sir Andrew Davis, a distinguished interpreter of Massenet, will bring this beautifully romantic score to irresistible life.”
Australian soprano Siobhan Stagg makes her American debut as the titular Cinderella, English mezzo-soprano Alice Coote plays the energetic and passionate prince, and Quebecoise soprano Marie-Eve Munger (Lyric debut) sings stratospherically high notes as the fairy godmother. Cinderella’s tenderhearted father Pandolfe is sung by Australian bass-baritone Derek Welton (Lyric debut). American mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Bishop (Lyric debut) plays the imperious stepmother, while Ryan Opera Center singers Emily Pogorelc and Kayleigh Decker play the absurdly funny stepsisters. Lyric Opera’s own musical director Sir Andrew Davis conducts the Lyric Opera Orchestra, while Francesco Milioto makes his Lyric Opera debut conducting the January 11th performance of Cendrillon.
With the holidays fast approaching, all of us can use a little fairytale magic. And what better way to do that than with a hefty dose of the happily-everafter? Cinderella story has been interpreted many different ways. Remember Pretty Woman? But with a beautifully varied score, Massenet’s version of the romantic tale will steal your heart. This beloved production of Cendrillon is making its premiere at Lyric, and the opera itself has not graced Chicago since 1911.
Sung in French with projected English translation, Cindrellon is offered in six performances Dec. 1, 5, 8, and Jan. 11, 17, and 20 at Lyric Opera House at 20 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago. For more information and to order tickets, visit Lyric Opera’s website or call 312-827-5600. Tickets start at $69 and special children’s ticket prices ($20-$50) are available to order by phone.
Image by Bill Cooper/Royal Opera House.
The Local Tourist’s opening night tickets for two courtesy of The Silverman Group.