A removals company discovers a room full of curiosities among them a book of Cendrillon. What better way for a group of friends to pass the time than to perform this famous fairy tale about Cinderella and the glass slipper?
Pauline Viardot’s comic opera in three tableaux from 1904 is seeped in joie de vivre, reflecting the influences of her entourage. As a singer and composer, Viardot was at the heart of artistic life in Paris in the second half of the 19th century, and counted George Sand, Chopin, Gounod, Berlioz, Donizetti among her friends and admirers. Offenbach’s contagious influence also filled Paris at the time with operetta, vaudeville and opéra-comique. Reflecting this wave of dance and joyful songs, Cendrillon is a gentle hedonistic operetta first performed in the composer’s own salon, filled with waltzes, mazurkas and polkas; nostalgic music at a time when atonality was dawning. For their new production, Palau de les Arts in Valencia has cast from the prestigious young talent of their Centre de Perfeccionament under the stage direction of veteran Catalan director and actor, Joan Font. He weaves into the show popular songs, a blend of traditional Zarzuela with rhythms from France, from an enormous repertoire generated in Spain between 1900 and the Spanish Civil War. This is a carnival production, which transforms the stage into an explosion of colours and shapes; a journey from France to Spain, from the intimacy of a salon to the freshness of a café cantante.
Le Baron de Pictordu
Le Prince Charmant
Le Comte Barigoule
José María Adame
Dramaturgy and dialogues
The Baron de Pictordu lives at home with his three daughters: Maguelonne and Armelinde, who are rather conceited, and Cendrillon, a kind-hearted, dreamy girl who works tirelessly looking after her family as if their house maid. Distracted by so much housework, Cendrillon sings a song that tells the story of a prince who longed to marry, but could not find a suitable wife. A young beggar (actually the Prince in disguise) knocks at the door asking for alms. Cendrillon gives him the coins she has and treats him kindly, while his sisters are horrid and he flees in fright. The Prince returns later, this time posing as the court chamberlain, to give the family an invitation to the ball which will be held that evening at the palace. Maguelonne and Armelinde dress for the occasion and their enthusiasm catches the baron, who quickly dresses up too. Treated with contempt by her family, Cendrillon is left alone at home, again singing her sad song. She is surprised by the Fairy, who grants her dream of attending the ball, providing her with a beautiful dress and a carriage. But the spell will be broken at midnight, by which time she must be back home.
In the palace, the Prince and the court chamberlain, Count Barigoule, exchange roles. The Count, dressed in the Prince's clothes, receives the family of Baron Pictordu. The sisters Maguelonne and Armelinde begin to compete ridiculously to win his heart, while they repeatedly scorn the one they take for their chamberlain (the real Prince). Cendrillon appears. The guests are fascinated by the extraordinary beauty of this mysterious girl, who is not even recognised by her own family. Dancing and various performances ensue. The Prince, whom everyone believes to be the chamberlain, courts Cendrillon with rapt attention. She recognises him as the visiting beggar about whom she has not stopped thinking all day. It is time for a kiss, but it is almost twelve o'clock and Cendrillon rushes off, leaving one of her shoes behind.
Barigoule arrives at Baron Pictordu's house, in his usual chamberlain's guise, and confesses that he is not the Prince, and they realise that they have known each other before; the Baron was a grocer in his youth and worked with Barigoule for a time. Barigoule announces that the Prince is looking for the lady who forgot her shoe to marry her. The Prince arrives to test whether the shoe will fit one of Pictordu's daughters and finds that it only fits Cendrillon's foot. The Prince asks her to marry him and the lovers embrace under the good auspices of the Fairy and the happy singing of those present.
Discover the unusual journeys of three young artists at the Centre de Perfeccionament, Palau de les Arts in Valencia: soprano Iria Goti, mezzo-soprano, Laura Orueta and baritone Alejandro Sánchez. We have conversations on how to perform your best under pressure, ways of getting through feeling deeply overwhelmed and hear about the importance of using the tools at your fingertips and making the most of every single opportunity.