“A Cenerentola” brilliantly introduces children to the opera

“A Cenerentola” brilliantly introduces children to the opera

There are shows from which one emerges happy and exhilarated. This is the case ofUne Cinderellaparticipatory opera for children, soon to be performed at the Bordeaux and Rouen opera houses, after having thrilled the public at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris.

The story is well known, it is that of Cinderella, set to music and voice by Rossini (1792-1868) in Cinderella (1817), a famous Italian opera whose libretto has been adapted here, shortened (from 2h40 to around 1h15) and translated into French. In this metamorphosis, the magnificent destiny of a beautiful young woman with a big heart, passing from a life of domestic slave to that of a prince’s wife, has lost none of its romanticism or charm.

With the wave of a magic wand, the fairy tale was transposed by the Italian director Daniele Menghini into a “Grand Hotel of Dreams” full of fantasy. The owner of the place, the old Baron Don Magnifico, tyrannical as well as ridiculous patriarch, hopes to escape bankruptcy by marrying one of his beloved daughters – Clorinda and Tisbe – to Don Ramiro, Prince of Salerno.

But, cunningly, the prince concealed himself under the identity of his valet to discover a fiancée who is not attracted by power or by wealth. Meeting Cenerentola by chance, he falls in love with her, without knowing her name. He will find her at a ball at the Grand Hotel, where the truth of hearts will be unveiled…

A sparkling Cenerentola

With its humorous and sparkling staging, its brightly colored costumes and sets, this Cinderella knows how to seduce his young audience, without ever falling into the easy way. Daniele Menghini goes to great lengths to make fun of Don Magnifico (Nicolas Brooymans) and make his two daughters as silly and detestable as possible.

The show also reserves beautiful moments of delicacy and poetry, when Prince Ramiro (Benoit-Joseph Meier) and Cenerentolla (Juliette Mey, alternating with Anne-Sophie Vincent) meet and discover love. In the pit, the orchestra of Parisian Madness accompanies with vivacity and commitment this cast which features young singers with very promising talents, even if they sometimes lack a little vocal power.

In this participative opera, the show is also on the side of the room, because children and accompanists are invited to sing certain parts of the libretto, giving the reply to the soloists. Before each concert, a vocal workshop is organized to rehearse these passages, which the public can also learn at home thanks to the recordings available on the opera sites.

With this participatory opera, children discover that it is difficult but also terribly enjoyable to sing together. You have to hear them give their voice wholeheartedly and then immediately know how to silence, laugh and gloat in front of the magic of the show, to convince yourself that, really, opera is an art for children.


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