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About the opera Cendrillon
Cendrillon (Cinderella) is an operaâ€”described as a "fairy tale"â€”in four acts by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Henri Cain based on Perrault's 1698 version of the Cinderella fairy tale. The scenario was conceived by Massenet and Cain at the Cavendish Hotel while they were in London for the premiere of Le Cid. Premiered in 1899, Massenet began work on the score in 1894 in Pont-de-l'Arche, with the final touches being made in Nice in 1895. At the time of the premiere, Massenet had announced in Le Figaro that Cendrillon would be his last lyric work.Read more on Wikipedia
The New Grove Dictionary of Opera notes that Massenet's sense of humour and wit is more evident in this work, and the use of recurrent motifs is more discreet, while the love music "reminds us how well Massenet knew his Wagner". Albert Carré (director of the Opera-Comique and producer of the first staging) persuaded the composer to drop a prologue introducing the characters, but a brief epilogue survives. Another writer comments that Massenet's perfectly proportioned score moves from a scene worthy of Armide of Lully (Cendrillon's monologue), through Rossinian vocalises and archaic orchestrations to ballet movements on a par with Tchaikovsky.
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