by Mike Telin
Whether you know her as Cendrillon, Aschenbrödel, La Cenerentola, La Cenicienta, Soluschka, or, most likely, Cinderella, the story of that downtrodden stepchild is an irresistible fairy tale. It’s been turned into many operas, but perhaps most magically by Jules Massenet in his Cendrillon, beautifully produced by CIM Opera Theater in Kulas Hall on November 13.
Supported by engagingly, yet simple staging by Cara Consilvio, a well-prepared cast of singers told the archetypal story of Cinderella with charm and flair. Framing the production was a sparse but colorful set and wonderful lighting by Dave Brooks.
Singing with a clear and elegant voice, Mallory Bogleff was completely engaging as Cendrillon (also known as Lucette). Her persecutors, Madame de la Haltière and Madame’s awkward but privileged daughters Noémie and Dorothée, were brilliantly characterized by Carlye Quinn, Val Sibila, and Ruby Pine.
The scene where the daughters are being decked out for the ball in costume designer Inda Blatch-Geilb’s outrageous attire was a hoot. A droll moment for Madame came in the second act when she proudly read out her family tree, which included a doge, bishops, and abbesses, and on its less-exalted branches, royal mistresses.
As La Fée (the Fairy Godmother), Catherina Carrrington dispatched impressive volleys of coloratura both in the Haltière household and from the magic oak tree, while waving a glistering wand. Yiran Xing was vocally splendid as Le Prince Charmant. Other solo roles were wonderfully covered by Joseph Breslau (Pandolfe, Lucette’s father), Trey Floyd (Le Roi), Madison Hurst (Le Doyen), Elliot Snell (Le Surintendant), and Michael Temesi (Le Premier Ministre).
Adding to the luminosity of the production were the six sprites who twinkled brightly during the second act as they assisted in bringing Lucette and Prince Charming together for a mystical ceremony of love.
The fine chorus, prepared by John Simmons, and the CIM Orchestra under Harry Davison realized Massenet’s score with an extra bit of fairy-dust.
Published on ClevelandClassical.com November 27, 2022.
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