Midnight at the opera: Enchantment and ardor take centre stage in Cendrillon

By Fiona Sjaus/ Ubyssey

Under the shade of an old oak tree, Lucette, — or as her step family mocks her, Cendrillon — and her lover Le Prince Charmant feel their ways through its mystical blossoming branches in search of each other after a whirling night at the ball.

A dazzling and ranged chorus, vibrant textiles and scenery and characters with pomp are just some of the ways UBC Opera is bringing Jules Massenet’s 1895 romantic opera Cendrillon — sung entirely in French — to life.

As Madame de la Haltière struts into the court of her manor followed by her daughters Noémie and Dorothée, her doormat-of-a-second-husband Pandolfe scurries away as they nudge into their seats to glamorize for the ball.

With the family off to the palace, Cendrillon emerges on stage as she polishes the fireplace and longs for a chance to go to the ball. The aria meshes melancholy with spells of hope, as the audience is introduced to our protagonist.

For fourth-year opera student Alexandra Baird, who is sharing the role of Cendrillon with Mariana Iguavita who is also in her fourth year of the program, the experience has felt like a dream come true.

“I have this big ball gown, there might be a special coach that comes on stage...My inner child has loved every minute of the whole process.”
UBC Opera student