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An unsuccessful ballerina who, as Cinderella, flees from her stepmother’s demands and sisters’ jealousy into the saving arms of the one, true, great love: Damiano Michieletto’s realistic and ironic staging of this rare opera with soprano Nadja Mchantaf in the title role and mezzo-soprano Karolina Gumos as the fairytale prince surprises “with its magically light theatricality” [taz].
The world-famous fairytale of the poor, oppressed girl was set to music by Jules Massenet, the gentleman composer of late French romanticism, using a snappy orchestral sound and delicate melodies to create an impressive musical masterpiece: »This evening is a great success that avoids the conventional Cinderella kitsch.« [Der Tagesspiegel]
Jules Massenet's Cendrillon, written at the turn of the 20th century, struck a nerve in an era of radical social and technical change, in which there was an almost boundless yearning for brief escapes from a reality which was increasingly coming to overwhelm people. Massenet emphasises the magical and dreamlike qualities of the story, wholly focusing in his version on the happiness of the two lovers and the threats that happiness faces. The airy orchestral sounds so typical of late-Romantic French opera make the prince and Cinderella appear as beings from a world which seems to represent a bare caricature of now questionable norms and values, while also artfully referencing and exaggeratedly parodying Baroque musical forms.
Conte de Fées in four Acts 
Libretto by Henri Cain after the fairy tale Cendrillon ou La Petite Pantoufle de verre by Charles Perrault