Opera by Jules Massenet
PromFest’s eleventh opera production in 2023 with the prizewinners of the Klaudia Taev Competition in the leading roles.
A co-production of PromFest, Kaunas State Musical Theatre.
Cendrillon will be shown on the 10th and 12th of September in Theatre Endla in Pärnu, Estonia.
Musical Director and Conductor – Erki Pehk
Stage Director and Choreographer – Jüri Nael
Set and Costume designer – Madis Nurms
Assistant Choreographer – Dainius Bervingis
Assistant Director – Olivier van den Hende
Lighting designer – Anton Kulagin
Video designer – Mikk-Mait Kivi
Producer – Mihkel Känd
Lucette (Cendrillon) –
Zuzanna Nalewajek (mezzo-soprano, Poland)
Madame de la Haltière –
Kadi Jürgens (mezzo-soprano, Estonia)
Le Prince Charmant –
Abi Levis (mezzo-soprano, USA)
La Fée –
Eszter Zemlényi (soprano, Hungary)
Laimonas Pautienius (baritone, Lithuania)
Gabrielė Bukinė (soprano, Lithuania)
Ieva Goleckytė (mezzo-soprano, Lithuania)
Le Roi –
Vladimiras Prudnikovas (bass, Lithuania)
The orchestra and chorus of the Kaunas State Music Theatre
Chorus master – Rasa Vaitkevičiūtė
Concertmaster of the orchestra – Povilas Grigas
Performed in French
Subtitles in English and Estonian
Premiere on September 7th 2023 Kaunas State Musical Theatre, Lithuania
A story about loneliness, human relationships, family, and longing to go where you can’t be at the moment – “there” where the grass is greener, the sky is bluer, human relationships are more beautiful and love is genuine.
Jüri Nael has extensive experience in the musical theater genre, both as a choreographer and as a director. His imagination and material sensibility are the qualities why Nael has been invited to direct this project. Jüri Nael: “Our stage version is about the virtual world and how developing technology allows us to escape into parallel realities, where everyone can create the desired version of themselves and be either Cinderella, the Prince, a supermodel or a guest of the president on the red carpet. Of course, we do all this in a (spectacular) playful way, letting Massenet’s fantastic music sound in all its beauty and enchantment.”
Director Naela’s stage version is enhanced by the scenography of set and costume designer, Madis Nurms. In addition to the “Cinderella” fairy tale, the design of “Cendrillon” is inspired by iconic internet memes, fashion industry products and fine crime comedies of the 60s and 70s. The stage design consists of multifunctional crystals that change the stage space by constantly moving.
Photos from rehearsals: Domas Rimeika
Jules Massenet was the most popular French composer of the end of the 19th century, a real man of the people, who liked to offer the audience what the Paris audience in 1899, standing on the threshold of the developments and discoveries of the new century, wanted – something familiar and soothing. This is exactly what Massenet offered them in the charming musical entertainment of “Cendrillon”. “Cendrillon” is not an ordinary opera, where all the emphasis is mainly on music, but as the composer himself calls it, it is an Opéra féerie – a musical fairy tale that also combines song and dance into a visually striking whole.
Those who have been familiar with PromFest activities before know that what makes PromFest productions special are the young singers who participate in the Klaudia Taev Competition. Last year’s winner of the Competition, Polish mezzo-soprano Zuzanna Nalewajek, should be thanked for the fact that a special French opera will be staged in Estonia for the first time – this opera is her choice. According to the regulations of the Klaudia Taevi Competition, the winner can choose the opera production of the next festival and her/his role in it. Musical director Erki Pehk: “And if there’s something to be really pleased about, or even proud of, it’s the fact that all the main parts are sung by previous laureates, and for a long time the Estonian singer, the incomparable Kadi Jürgens, is also among them.” It’s also kind of unique that Massenet wrote “Cinderella” for four mezzo-sopranos and there isn’t actually a single tenor on the stage!
Musical theater lovers have something to discover!
𝗩𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗼𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗱𝘂𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻: