Cendrillon

Massenet’s Cendrillon is less often performed than Rossini’s take on the same basic story.  I’m really not sure why.  Rossini’s take is a bit weird (in a good way), especially in the Ponelle production, but Massenet’s is much more interesting musically.  Oddly enough there’s only one version on DVD; a 2011 recording from the Royal Opera House.  Fortunately it’s very good.  The production is by Laurent Pelly and it has quite a bit in common with his La Fille du Regiment.  Here the set is made up of pages from the original syory by Perrault rather than military maps but the effect is similar.  Costumes are quite cartoonish (shades of the recent Alice in Wonderland ballet) except for Cendrillon herself, the prince and her father.  There’s a strong emphasis on the humorous side of the piece and the “ballets” are thoroughly subverted.

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