Recent Grammy® award-winner Joyce DiDonato stars as Cinderella in the debut Covent Garden production of Massenet’s Cendrillon. DiDonato captures all hearts – not just Prince Charming’s – in this enchanting, sophisticated retelling of the classical fairy tale. The charming production is by the famed French opera director Laurent Pelly (who also directed the best-selling DVD of Donizetti’s La Fille du Reigment, starring Natalie Dessay and Juan Diego Florez).
The Cinderella fairy tale as seen through the eyes of the belle époque, Massenet’s Cendrillon was first performed at the Opéra-Comique in Paris in 1899 and its gorgeous score embraces pathos, pastiche, broad humor, subtle eroticism and sheer magic. In Summer 2011, its debut at London’s Royal Opera House was built around mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, who first took on the title role at the Santa Fe festival in 2006.
The New York Times found Joyce DiDonato’s performance “thoroughly enchanting. She won sympathy for the girl’s plight at once, and her exquisite articulation of the repeated phrase “Vous êtes mon Prince Charmant” in the first love duet — surely the opera’s most ravishing moments — was flawless.” Supporting DiDonato are bass-baritone Jean-Philippe Lafont, made his Covent Garden debut in this production, soprano Eglise Gutierrez, mezzo-soprano Alice Coote, contralto Ewa Podleś, and conductor Bertrand de Billy.