MET Opera On The Big Screen
The Capitol is a proud presenter of MET Opera in HD via Cineplex.
• 12pm Brown Bag Lunch with Guest Speaker in the Sculthorpe Theatre
• 12:55pm Opera coverage begins
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“Glorious,” raved the New York Times when Joyce DiDonato sang the title role of Cendrillon at the Royal Opera in 2011. “Her performance was thoroughly enchanting.” Now, for the first time ever, Massenet’s sumptuous take on the Cinderella story comes to the Met, with DiDonato starring in the title role. She is paired with mezzo-soprano Alice Coote in the trouser role of Prince Charming, Kathleen Kim as the Fairy Godmother, and Stephanie Blythe as the imperious Madame de la Haltière. Bertrand de Billy conducts Laurent Pelly’s imaginative storybook production.
Production a gift of The Sybil B. Harrington Endowment Fund
Additional funding from Elizabeth M. and Jean-Marie R. Eveillard
By the time of his death, Massenet was regarded by many critics as old-fashioned and unadventurous although his two best-known operas remained popular in France and abroad. After a few decades of neglect, his works began to be favourably reassessed during the mid-20th century, and many of them have since been staged and recorded. Although critics do not rank him among the handful of outstanding operatic geniuses such as Mozart, Verdi and Wagner, his operas are now widely accepted as well-crafted and intelligent products of the Belle Époque.
PRODUCTION: Laurent Pelly
SET DESIGNER: Barbara de Limburg
COSTUME DESIGNER: Laurent Pelly
LIGHTING DESIGNER: Duane Schuler
The opera is predominantly set in Prince Charming’s castle.
The part of Prince Charming is a breeches role, sung by a Falcon soprano— or “soprano de sentiment”— according to the libretto, a dark dramatic and characteristically French soprano voice. There is no authority for transposing this role for a tenor. This voice type is contrasted in Cendrillon’s other scenes with the coloratura writing for her fairy godmother, which is characterised by trills and arpeggios. The 18th-century is echoed in witty pastiche of galant music, such as the trio of lute, viola d’amore and flute that fails to rouse the melancholy and silent prince at the opening of Act 2. The score includes a ballet, a series of entrées at the ball of princesses who fail to satisfy the Prince, contrasted with the spectral ballet under a “bluish light” in Act 3, where Cain interposes an episode in which Lucette (as Cendrillon is called) and her Prince are kept apart and tested by the arts of la Fée (Fairy Godmother).