Massenet’s “Cinderella” in New Orleans



Massenet’s Cinderella (Cendrillon)

February 14, 2014 – 8:00 PM
February 16, 2014 – 2:30 PM
Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts


On Valentine’s Day your heart will be captured by this gorgeous operatic confection from the pen of Jules Massenet, composer of Manon and Thaïs. Cinderella is a sophisticated re-telling of the classic French fairy tale, an operatic jewel—complete with glass slippers and a Fairy Godmother—embracing pathos, conflict, hilarity, and the sheer magic of true love! Our glittering new production will be a company premiere and the perfect entertainment for audiences of all ages. SPEND VALENTINE’S DAY WITH THE NEW ORLEANS OPERA!


ACT 1 A state room in Madame de la Haltière’s town house
Servants bustle to prepare for the ball. The henpecked Pandolfe wonders why he ever left his country estate to remarry an over-bearing countess with two daughters and pities the lot of his own child Lucette (Cinderella). He leaves as his wife enters to instruct her daughters on strategy and supervise a troupe of milliners, tailors and hairdressers. Pandolfe, late for departure, is not allowed to say goodnight to his child. Cinderella enters and sits by the fire to regret her lot before falling asleep. Her Fairy Godmother appears and orders her attendants to dress Cinderella for the ball. She warns her to leave before midnight, and tells her that the glass slippers are a talisman to prevent her being recognized by her family.

ACT 2 The royal palace
A gaggle of courtiers and an onstage band fail to alleviate the Prince’s melancholy. The King orders him to marry and eligible princesses arrive for the Prince’s scrutiny. The unknown beauty Cinderella appears to a concertato of general amazement, and the Prince launches a rapturous love-at-first-sight duet. Cinderella responds but as midnight strikes she hurries away.

ACT 3, Scene 1 A state room in Madame de la Haltière’s town house
Cinderella relives the glamour of the ball and the terror of her nocturnal flight. The family returns from the ball and Madame de la Haltière disputes Pandolfe’s account of the events. According to her, the Prince decisively rejected the bold intruder. Pandolfe notices that Cinderella is about to faint and orders the women from the room. In a duet of great tenderness he promises that he and Cinderella will return to his country seat. When he exits to prepare for the journey, Cinderella gives way to despair: rather than allow her father to share her pain, she decides to run away and die on her own.

ACT 3, Scene 2 A magic landscape around a great oak tree
Fairies and will-o’-the-wisps interrupt their dance as Cinderella and the Prince approach separately, and the Fairy Godmother conjures up a magic arbor so that they may hear but not see each other. After praying to be released from their misery, they recognize each other’s voices and reaffirm their love in a mystical ceremony. The Prince hangs his bleeding heart on the oak, and both fall into an enchanted sleep.

ACT 4, Scene 1 A terrace
Pandolfe watches over his sleeping daughter. Months have passed since she was found by a stream half dead with cold. In her delirium she has been singing about the ball, the mysterious oak, the bleeding heart and the missing slipper. None of this ever happened, her father assures her, and she resigns herself to having dreamed it all. Madame de la Haltière enters with the news of a grand international assembly of princesses to try on the missing slipper, and Cinderella joyfully realizes that her dream was true.

ACT 4, Scene 2 The palace
The princesses appear, but the Prince does not recognize any of them as his lost love. Cinderella steps forward and is reunited with the Prince. The opera ends amid general rejoicing.

Director: Jose Maria Condemi

Conductor: Robert Lyall


Click each cast name to see their picture, bio, and more information!

Cinderella – Judith Gauthier

Judith Gauthier - Cinderella - Cinderella1
Before starting her vocal studies with Maestro Gabriel Bacquier and Michèle Command , Judith Gauthier trained at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris, piano , accompaniment and vocal conducting. Judith Gauthier is the recipient of several prizes including the Adami Prize at the International Competition in Clermont-Ferrand (2005), the First Prize and the SACEM Prize for the most outstanding interpretation of contemporary works at the Concours International de la Mélodie Française de Toulouse (2003). Judith Gauthier made her début in Campra‘s Idoménée ( Jean-Claude Malgoire conducting) and was invited to participate in Mozart ‘s Bastien und Bastienne at the Paris‘s historic Théâtre du Châtelet. Since then she worked with world famous conductors including Marc Minkowski, Serge Baudo, Peter Eötvös, Gelgely Vajda, Jean- Christophe and Philippe Spinosi, Daniel Reuss, Hervé Niquet, Martin Gester, Chrisopher Franklin…and stage directors: Robert Carsen, Laurent Pelly, Emilio Sagi, Benjamin Lazar, Joachim Ratke, Thaddeus Strassberger …. She has performed in Lully’s Alceste (Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris), Arcas in Martin y Soler ‘s Ifigenia in Aulide (Madrid), Fiordiligi (Warsaw ), Frasquita in Carmen ( M.Minkowski, Bremen Music Festival ), Lisetta in La gazzetta (Rossini in Wildbad Opera Festival, recorded for Naxos). Judith Gauthier has been a soloist in Bach‘ s Mass in B minor (working both with M.Minkowski and H.Niquet ), in Mozart’s Mass in C and Brahms ‘ Ein deutsches Requiem ( B.Tétu, Lyon ), in Denoyé, Corrette and Charpentier ‘ s works ( M.Gester, Le Parlement de Musique, recorded for Harmonia Mundi ), in Haendel‘ s La Resurrezione (J.W DeVriend, Combattimento Consort Amsterdam ). Internationally Judith Gauthier is highly regarded for her interpretations of Early Music but also performs 20 th century works : world premiere of Philippe Fenelon‘ s Leçons de ténèbres, Daniel-Lesur ‘ s Andrea del Sarto, Frank Martin’ s Golgotha, Arvo Pärt‘ s Te Deum,Wissmer‘ s Le 4ème Mage, Paul Mefano‘ s Estampes japonaises, Peter Eötvös ‘ As I crossed a bridge of dreams, Gérard Pesson‘ s Pastorale, Strawinski‘ s Two poems and Three japanese lyrics among others.

Judith Gauthier has performed Oberto in Haendel‘ s Alcina (Paris National Opera, Wiener Konzerthaus and Aix-en Provence ), Donna Fiorilla in Rossini‘ s Il Turco in Italia (Basel-Riehen Festival, Switzerland), Hélène in Chabrier ‘ s Une éducation manquée (Caen Theatre), a recital at the Festival de Musique Baroque de Lyon, Monteverdi‘ s Vespro de la Beata Vergine and Drolla in Wagner‘ s Die Feen (both at the Paris’ Théâtre du Châtelet). More recently she has appeared as Astrée in G.Pesson ‘ s Pastorale (Théâtre du Châtelet), Amour and Clarine in Rameau’ s Platée (Paris National Opera), Mass in C minor (Salzburg’ s Mozarteum) and in two Vivaldi-Haendel‘s recitals (Ensemble Matheus, J.C Spinosi conducting). Upcoming engagements include concerts in Hamburg, Cuenca, Grenoble, Cracow and Paris’ Salle Pleyel ( Bach ‘ s Johannes Passion, M.Minkowski conducting ), Mélisande in Debussy’s Pelléas et Melisande (Paris’ Théâtre du Châtelet ), concerts in Rouen and Paris‘ Cité de la Musique, Oberto in Alcina (Santiago of Chile), Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Asteria in Haendel‘s Tamerlano (Theater Bonn), Bellezza in Haendel‘s Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno (Stuttgart), the title-role of Massenet‘s Cendrillon (Paris’ Opéra Comique, Konzerthaus in Vienna , Saint-Etienne and Luxembourg), Melissa in Haendel‘s Amadigi (Göttingen) and Inès in Donizetti‘s La Favorite (Paris ‘ Théâtre des Champs-Elysées).  Selected recordings include Frank Martin‘s Golgotha, Denoyé and Corrette‘s works, Rossini‘s La gazzetta, Wissmer‘ s Le 4ème Mage and Andrea Gabrieli‘s Madrigals.
Prince Charming -Marie Lenormand
Fairy Godmother  – Katherine Lewek
Pandolfe – Francois Le Roux
Mme. De la Haltiere
Noemie – Angela Manino
Dorothee – Rebecca Ringle
The King – Jacob Penick
Master Ceremonies – Taylor Miller
Dean of Faculty – Juan Williams
First Minister – Jeremy Orgeron
Spirit #1 – Mirella Cavalcante-Lief
Spirit #2 – Aurora Foster
Spirit #3 – Elizabeth Ulloa Lowry
Spirit #4 – Amanda McCarthy
Spirit #5 – Anneka Olson
Spirit #6 – Michelle Johnston Richards

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