About the Opera

Cinderella - 2017-18 Season

     

Prokofiev's Cinderella

Sunday, April 29, 2018, 3:00 PM -
Century II Performing Arts Center, Concert Hall
Russian National Ballet Theatre

     
by Sergei Prokofiev
A Ballet in Two Acts
Libretto by Nicolai Volkov

     
Artistic Director   Original Choreography
Elena Radchenko   Rostislav Zakharov
     
Set & Costume Design:   Elisaveta Dvorkina
Lighting Design:   Marina Borodina
     

CAST OF CHARACTERS

CINDERELLA   Marianna Chemalina
THE PRINCE   Konstantin Marikin
THE WICKED STEPMOTHER   Evgeniy Rudakov
THE EVIL STEPSISTERS   Elena Khorosheva
    Natalia Ivanova
FAIRY GODMOTHER   Olga Gudkova
DANCE MASTER   Nurlan Kinerbaev
JESTER   Pavel Bochkovskiy
FAIRY OF THE SPRING   Eriko Noritake
FAIRY OF THE SUMMER   Galina Ishenko
FAIRY OF THE AUTUMN   Viktoria Baldanova
FAIRY OF THE WINTER   Daria Lednikova
 MAURITANIAN AMBASSADOR, Prince’s Courtiers   Samat Abdrakhmanov
 SPANISH AMBASSADOR, Prince’s Courtiers   Azamat Asangul Uulu
CHINESE AMBASSADOR, Prince’s Courtiers   Anton Baglikov
RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR, Prince’s Courtiers   Alexander Yakovlev
THE TIME   Eldar Sarsembaev
BALL GUESTS   Corps de Ballet
 
Production and Artists subject to change
 

Setting

In an Enchanted Kingdom

Synopsis

ACT I: Cinderella’s House - Cinderella's stepmother is busily embroidering a scarf she will wear to the Palace Ball that evening. Father is also in the room, and the Stepsisters tease him unmercifully. Cinderella enters and stops them. They turn on her furiously and the Stepmother orders her to clean the room. The Stepsisters drag Father from the room. Cinderella begins sweeping as ordered, and takes a portrait of her deceased mother from its hiding place and gazes at it longingly. Her Father returns and is overcome with remorse when he sees the resemblance between Cinderella and his first wife. His daughter lovingly tries to reassure him, but they are dragged apart by the Stepsisters, who also snatch away the picture.

Suddenly, the door opens and an old woman enters, begging. The Stepmother gives her the picture of Cinderella's mother to get rid of it, but the beggar woman sees the resemblance to Cinderella and hands it to her. Cinderella offers the woman some bread, which she accepts and then departs.

A dressmaker and wigmaker arrive to adorn the Stepsisters for the Ball, followed by a dancing master, who attempts the impossible task of teaching the Stepsisters the rudiments of dancing. The family departs for the Ball, with the exception of Cinderella, who remains behind. She tries to assuage her loneliness by pretending that the kitchen broom is her partner at the Ball, but the pretense is too much for her, and she bursts into tears. At this moment, the beggar woman returns and changes into a beautiful fairy Godmother, who transforms the kitchen into a forest, complete with Dragonflies swooping amongst the trees.

The Fairy Godmother gives Cinderella a pair of glass slippers, and the Fairies of Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter perform for her, changing the seasons as they dance. Cinderella's rags become a beautiful gown, but the Fairy Godmother shows her a clock, and warns her that at midnight, the magic gown will change back into rags. She then transforms a pumpkin and four lizards into a coach and horses, and Cinderella is driven to the Ball like a princess.

ACT II. Scene 1: The Palace - At the Palace, a Jester welcomes the arriving guests, who are all somewhat taken aback by the Stepsisters. The Prince enters and greets the assembly, then gallantly invites each of the Stepsisters in turn to dance with him, much to the amusement of the guests. At this moment, the Ball is interrupted by the arrival of Cinderella in her coach, and the Prince immediately falls in love with her. The guests are offered oranges -- the rarest food to be had -- and when one of the Stepsisters is left without one, Cinderella gives up her own, without the Stepsister realizing her identity. While the Prince and Cinderella are dancing together, the clock strikes midnight. Cinderella's clothes turn to rags and she rushes from the ballroom. The Prince cannot restrain her, but finds one of the glass slippers which she has lost in her haste.

ACT II. Scene 2: Cinderella’s House - Back in the kitchen, Cinderella remembers the Ball as if it were a beautiful dream, but finds the remaining glass slipper in one of her pockets. She quickly hides it as the Stepsisters return, proudly displaying the oranges the Prince gave them. The Stepmother announces the arrival of the Prince with his Jester and courtiers in search of the owner of the glass slipper they bear with them. Each of the Stepsisters in turn vainly tries to squeeze an oversized foot into the tiny slipper. When the Prince notices Cinderella sitting shyly by the fire, he asks her father if she may try it on. As she moves to do so, the second slipper falls from her pocket. The Prince is overjoyed in spite of Cinderella's ragged appearance, and asks her to marry him. Cinderella forgives her Stepmother and sisters for their previous cruelty to her.

As the Prince returns the glass slipper to the Fairy Godmother, the kitchen is transformed into a magic glade where Cinderella and her Prince dance a romantic Pas de Deux. The guests return to acclaim their new Princess at her betrothal.
 

About the Company

Maria Sokolnikova
The Russian National Ballet Theatre was founded in Moscow during the Perestroika period of the late 1980s. Originally called the Soviet National Ballet, the company was founded by and comprised of graduates from the great Russian choreographic schools in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Perm. The principal dancers of the company came from the upper ranks of the great ballet companies and academies of Russia, and the companies of Riga, Kiev, and even Warsaw. Today, the Russian National Ballet Theatre is its own institution, with over 50 dancers of singular instruction and vast experience, many of whom have been with the company since its inception.

In 1994, legendary Bolshoi prima ballerina Elena Radchenko was appointed by Presidential decree to assume the first permanent artistic directorship of the company. She has focused the Company on upholding the grand national tradition of Russian ballet and developing new talents throughout Russia. The company’s repertoire includes virtually all of the works of Marius Petipa:Don Quixote, La Bayadere, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Raymonda, Paquita, Coppelia andLa Sylphide, as well as many other productions including The Nutcracker, Sylvia, and La Fille Mal Gardée.
 



Composer Bio


Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev was a Russian composer, pianist and conductor. As the creator of acknowledged masterpieces across numerousmusical genres, he is regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century. His works include such widely heard works as the March from The Love for Three Oranges, the suite Lieutenant Kijé, the ballet Romeo and Juliet – from which "Dance of the Knights" is taken – and Peter and the Wolf, as well as five piano concertos, nine completed piano sonatas and seven symphonies.

A graduate of the St Petersburg Conservatory, Prokofiev initially made his name as an iconoclastic composer-pianist, achieving notoriety with a series of ferociously dissonant and virtuosic works for his instrument, including his first two piano concertos. In 1915 Prokofiev made a decisive break from the standard composer-pianist category with his orchestral Scythian Suite, compiled from music originally composed for a ballet commissioned by Sergei Diaghilev of the Ballets Russes. Diaghilev commissioned three further ballets from Prokofiev – Chout,Le pas d'acier and The Prodigal Son – which at the time of their original production all caused a sensation among both critics and colleagues. Prokofiev's greatest interest, however, was opera, and he composed several works in that genre, including The Gambler andThe Fiery Angel. Prokofiev's one relative success in that genre during his lifetime was The Love for Three Oranges, composed for Chicago Opera and subsequently performed over the following decade in Europe and Russia.

After the Revolution, Prokofiev left Russia with the official blessing of the Soviet minister Anatoly Lunacharsky, and resided in the United States, then Germany, then Paris, making his living as a composer, pianist and conductor. During that time he married a Spanish singer, Carolina Codina, with whom he had two sons. In the early 1930s, the Great Depression diminished opportunities for Prokofiev's ballets and operas to be staged in America and western Europe. Prokofiev, who regarded himself as composer foremost, resented the time taken by touring as a pianist, and increasingly turned to Soviet Russia for commissions of new music; in 1936 he finally returned to his homeland with his family. He enjoyed some success there – notably with Lieutenant Kijé, Peter and the Wolf, Romeo and Juliet, and perhaps above all with Alexander Nevsky. The Nazi invasion of the USSR spurred him to compose his most ambitious work, an operatic version of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace. In 1948 Prokofiev was criticized for "anti-democratic formalism", and with his income severely curtailed was forced to compose Stalinist works such as On Guard for Peace. However, he also enjoyed personal and artistic support from a new generation of Russian performers, notably Sviatoslav Richter and Mstislav Rostropovich: for the latter he composed his Symphony-Concerto, whilst for the former he composed his ninth piano sonata.