Upcoming Events

Cendrillon
Cendrillon

Details

Producer: Teatru Manoel
Recommended Age: Strictly 6+
Venue: Teatru Manoel
Price: €50 - €30 - €15


Schedule

Thursday, 28 June 2018
8pm
Saturday, 30 June 2018
8pm

Description

Teatru Manoel presents a new production, and the Maltese premiere, of the French opera Cendrillon (based on the Cinderella fairytale) by the Maltese born composer Nicolas Isouard which was first performed in Paris in 1810. 

Cast

Claire Debono                 Cendrillon
Ainhoa Zuazua Rubira    Thisbé
Mélanie Boisvert             Clorinde
David Ghilardi                  Le Prince
Didler Henry                     Alidor
Flannan Obé                    Dandini
Jean-Fernand Setti          Baron de Montefiascone
 
Takénori Némoto                      Conductor  
Jean-Philippe Desrousseaux    Director & Designer 
François-Xavier Guinnepain     Lighting & Design 
 

  Maltese soprano Claire Debono plays Cendrillon

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About Nicolo Isouard’s comic opera CENDRILLON at Teatru Manoel
 
by Jean-Philippe Desrousseaux, Director and Designer
 
Cendrillon by Nicolo Isouard is a masterpiece by a young Franco-Maltese composer which has unjustly fallen into oblivion. While Napoleon continued his conquests by annexing Catalonia and the Kingdom of Holland, bringing Rome in the French Empire and marrying Marie Louise of Austria and while the British continued to expand their territory by invading the islands of the Pacific and the Indian Oceans, Imperial France, stands proudly amidst a Europe in turmoil where in all the great powers believe in their own superiority. In this atmosphere the French comic opera became both an identifiable and strong culture for the French, who though very fond of Italian opera, retained opera comique as the essential entertainment for the post-revolutionary bourgeois. The chaos of the Revolution now seems faraway and the French can enjoy life and are all happy to laugh and be moved.
 
Created in 1810 at the Salle Feydeau in Paris, Cendrillon by Nicolas Isouard known as Nicolo quickly became famous throughout Europe after a phenomenal Parisian success. The work was considered one of the best comic operas of the time, written by a young composer from Malta. It seems inconceivable that the opera was to fall into oblivion for more than two centuries. 
 
Although the work was twice rehearsed at the Opéra-Comique in the 19th century in a new orchestration adapted to the taste of the time with additions by other composers, the original version of Isouard did not survive the creative explosion of the 20th century when French music turned the page of its history with the arrival of the new generation of composers represented by Fauré, Debussy and Ravel.
 
Cendrillon’s younger sister, Rossini’s Cenerentola presented in 1817, using the same libretto by Etienne, surfed between the new waves on a board named Bel Canto, a lyrical style that music lovers have never stopped supporting. It has thus left its mark in the repertoire of the major opera houses around the world. The name of Isouard was then mentioned only as a sponsor of Etienne's libretto or as an unknown French composer who prepared the ground to welcome Rossini, the operatic genius.
 
It was not until 1999 that the Australian conductor Richard Bonynge, a fervent champion of French music, took an interest in Cendrillon which hides musical treasures on every page, and presented it in Moscow with a live recording to enable the public to rediscover a work that deserves a major place in French opera repertoire.
 
The story of Cinderella illustrates the conflict of universal force of forgiveness, surpassing oneself and inducing the redemption of the characters who mistreated it perfectly and uses the elements of the drama developing towards an image of ideal happiness. The trials of this conquest of bliss are mainly marked by the behavior of Cinderella's sisters with their aggressive and jealous behavior. This supposedly dark aspect will scenically generate the funniest and most hilarious parts of the staging. The vocal parts that devolve to these two harpies are brilliant and very virtuosic; a flood of coloratura matching their inextinguishable malice! Their gestures and their attitudes will have the grotesque character of bellicose and angry girls. Competing in malice, they tear Cinderella's clothes, crumple the clothes she's ironed, dirty her laundry and create disorder where their sister had tidied up. This excess of darkness and cruelty will however have a profoundly comic air. Beauty, purity, blackmail, daydreams, magical effects, confrontations and rivalry, benevolence, contrasting emotions, love and happiness, all of this will be expressed by a staging that will maintain a smile throughout.
 
Reviving this opera in Malta in Teatru Manoel in 2018 which is the two hundredth anniversary of the death of Isouard and the year in which Valletta is Cultural Capital of Europe is an enterprise which deserves international support which is why the Artistic Director of Teatru Manoel has brought on a group of French philanthropists to sponsor this production.
 

 

Director and Designer Jean-Philippe Desrousseaux 

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Synopsis
 
Cendrillon is the stepdaughter of Baron Montefiascone. She lives in his house with his daughters, Clorinde and Thisbé, where she is treated like a servant. The two sisters are preparing for the royal ball when a beggar arrives asking for hospitality. Cendrillon welcomes him but the sisters drive him away, not realising he is Alidor, the Prince's minister, in disguise. The beggar promises that Cendrillon will be rewarded for her kindness. The Prince has heard rumours of Cendrillon's goodness and he too comes to the house disguised as his valet, Dandini. He learns the true nature of the three stepsisters. Clorinde and Thisbé leave Cendrillon behind as they depart for the ball, but Alidor promises her she will go too.
 
Cendrillon wakes up at the Prince's palace to find herself wearing magnificent clothes. Alidor assures her no one will recognise her in this disguise as he gives her a rose. The Prince meets her, still disguised as Dandini. She allows him to be her "knight (chevalier)" in a mock tournament and he wins. When he asks her to be his wife she flees, leaving a slipper behind.
 
At the Baron's house, Clorinde and Thisbé discuss the news that the Prince has fallen in love with the beautiful stranger at the ball. The Prince tries to find the owner of the slipper and arrives at the Baron's house. It fits Cendrillon and the Prince offers her his hand in marriage. She gladly accepts.
 
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This event is being sponsored by:
 
Fondation Gandur pour l'Art
Mr and Mrs Eric Bertrand
Mr and Mrs Jean-Conrad Hottinguer 
Mr and Mrs Jean-Luc Chalmin
Ambassade de France
 
 

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Bookings

E: bookings at teatrumanoel dot com dot mt
T: (+356) 21246389
Mon - Fri
10.00 - 13.00
 
17.00 - 19.00
Sat
10.00 - 13.00
Check relevant events for summer opening times

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