Cendrillon (Viardot)

Opera

Writers: Pauline Viardot

Overview

Show Information

Libretto
Based on the Play/Book/Film
Cendrillon by Charles Perrault
Category
Opera
Number of Acts
3
First Produced
1904
Genres
Fairy Tale/Fantasy
Settings
Fantasy/Imaginary, Multiple Settings
Time & Place
fairy tale
Cast Size
medium
Orchestra Size
Piano Only
Dancing
Some Dance
Licensor
None/royalty-free
Ideal for
Chamber Opera, College/University, Professional Opera
Casting Notes
Mostly female cast
Includes young adult, mature adult, adult characters

Synopsis

Pauline Viardot’s Cendrillon is a retelling of Charles Perrault’s fairy tale, composed in an operetta style combining musical numbers and dialogues, and intended for salon style chamber performances, such as it received at its premier, in Viardot’s own salon in 1904.

Instead of a step-mother, this story has the foolish Baron de Pictordu, with his two vain daughters, Maguelone and Armelinde, that are both after the Prince. After an invitation to the palace for a grand ball arrives, Maguelone and Armelinde prepare for such a wonderful event. Marie, who they call ‘Cendrillon’ is left behind while everyone else attends the ball. Hearing her sad song, La Fée (the fairy godmother) appears and promises to make Cendrillon’s dreams come true: she will go to the ball. Meanwhile, the Prince and his good friend Count Barigoule swap places to test out the true natures of the potential brides. A mysterious stranger appears at the ball, and she and the Prince fall in love at first sight, but will he be able to find her again when she runs away at midnight?

In her retelling of this well-loved story, Viardot seems to reference both Rossini’s La Cenerentola and Massenet’s Cendrillon, to create this charming, rather under-appreciated, work.

Lead Characters