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Classic fairy tale Cinderella (Cendrillon)

March 27, 2014

Based on Perrault's 1698 fairy tale, Massenet's version will enthrall audiences, and is a wonderful introduction to opera for younger audiences.

Colorado State presents the enchanting fairy tale of Cinderella in performances of Jules Massenet's French opera, Cendrillon. Image by CSU Photography.The Charles and Reta Ralph Opera Center at Colorado State University presents the enchanting fairy tale of Cinderella in performances of Jules Massenet’s French opera, Cendrillon.

Performance dates

  • Saturday, March 29, 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 30, 2 p.m.
  • Friday, April 4, 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 5, 7:30 pm.

All performances take place in the Griffin Concert Hall at the University Center for the Arts, located at 1400 Remington St.


  • $10/CSU students
  • $1/youth (under 18)
  • $20/public

Tickets are available at the University Center for the Arts (UCA) ticket office in the UCA lobby, by phone at 970-491-ARTS (2787) or online.

Youth tickets must be purchased in person at the Ticket Office. Advance purchase is recommended to avoid at-the-door fees.

Wonderful introduction to opera for children

Based on Perrault’s 1698 fairy tale, Massenet’s version will enthrall audiences, and is a wonderful introduction to the art form of opera for younger audiences.

A spell that lasts until midnight

Caring only for the well-being of her daughters Noémie and Dorothée, Madame de la Haltière snubs her stepdaughter, Lucette (Cendrillon).

As the three leave for the royal ball, Cendrillon wishes she could also have gone. But her Fairy Godmother suddenly appears, transforming Cendrillon's ragged clothes into a magnificent gown for the ball. She warns the girl that the spell will only last until midnight, and that the glass slippers will protect her from being recognized by her family.

After aweing the prince at the ball, Cendrillon flees the palace as the clock strikes midnight, losing one of her glass slippers. After long searching, the lovers are finally reunited and acclaimed by all present, even Madame de la Haltière.

Massenet adds magical elements

Previous to Cendrillon premiering on May 24, 1899, in Paris, the Italian opera La Cenerentola came out in 1817 based on the same fairytale. This version, written in Italian by Gioachino Rossini, did not follow the original story line in Perrault’s fairytale as closely as Massenet’s French rendition.

Massenet’s version received instant popularity, often attributed to his additions to the story, including the pumpkin, the fairy-godmother and the introduction of glass slippers. This inclusion of magical transformative elements is exemplified in CSU’s production of the opera.

Variety of vocal color, characters

“Both the music and the production are very beautiful with a variety of vocal colors and characters,” said director Tiffany Blake. “It’s very much the fairy tale we all know and love, and our production will really highlight those magical moments.”

Image by CSU Photography.

CSU’s production, while not set in the traditional period, draws from several periods with whimsical costumes, gothic elements, magical transformations – all the elements of a wonderful fairy tale.

Production with wit, elegance

Anticipating the upcoming production, Charles Ralph noted his enthusiasm for the piece:

“Distinguished by its layers of emotional depth and exploration of dreams and reality, Cendrillon displays the composer’s musical sense of humor at its frothiest, liberally spiced with wit and elegance.

"This work presents a challenging opportunity for the students to create a cast of unique personalities that will engage and entertain while also encouraging us to consider which of the story personalities we are and why we make the choices we do.”

For more information, visit

Contact: Mike Solo
Phone: (970) 491-5293