A glittering glass slipper: Del Oro Theatre shows ‘Cendrillon’ in Grass Valley | TheUnion.com

A glittering glass slipper: Del Oro Theatre shows ‘Cendrillon’ in Grass Valley

John Deaderick
Special to Prospector

John Deaderick encourages families to go see Jules Massenet’s 1899 fairy tale opera “Cendrillon.” He boasts the opera is visionary, whimsical and perfect for children as it is the retelling of the classic fairy tale "Cinderella."

The Met presents for the first time on its stage Jules Massenet's fabulous 1899 fairy tale opera "Cendrillon." Of course, we all know the story from Charles Perrault's 1698 telling of it; but, this being opera, there are twists and unexpected delights.

The imperious and domineering Madame de la Haltière takes her two daughters to the Prince's Grand Ball, leaving her step-daughter Lucette at home to pine away and dream. In her dream, La Fée, the Fairy, comes to her.

The scene unfolds as we might expect: the Prince is smitten, the sisters and Madame are notably ticked off, and the requisite departure by midnight leaves the signature shoe behind.

Uncertain of the Prince's devotion, Lucette/Cinderella treks into the Fairy Wood to die. The Prince finds her there and offers her his heart. Literally. More sleeping, more dreaming, and the romantic conclusion we all expect.

What sets this opera apart is the glory of Massenet's glittering score. Elegant and un-mistakably French, the music evokes the Baroque while it surges with the Romanticism of the late-nineteenth century.

And what a cast for this debut production, with Met favorite Joyce DiDonato as Cendrillon and mezzo Alice Coote in the pants role of Le Prince Charmant. But perhaps the real star here is the production design by Laurent Pelly.

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Visionary, whimsical, and so very storybook, "Cendrillon" will be a feast for the eye as well as the ear. I strongly recommend you bring your young ones for this opera, children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews.

I can think of no better child's introduction to the world of grand opera than this. We need to bring along the audiences of the future, or who will there be to support these works?

John Deaderick is a theatre artist and the author of Make Sweet the Minds of Men: Early Opera and Tragic Catharsis, available at Amazon.com.

KNOW & GO

WHO: The Del Oro Theatre

WHAT: The Metropolitan Opera, LIVE in HD — “Cendrillon” (Cinderella)

WHEN: 9:55 a.m. Saturday

WHERE: The Del Oro Theatre, 165 Mill Street, Grass Valley

TICKETS: $22 Adults, $20 Seniors, $18 Children 12 and under & students with ID; Available online at http://www.sierratheaters.com or at the Del Oro Box Office

INFO: http://www.sierratheaters.com, 530-477-1100