Pauline Viardot (1821-1910)

Opéra comique in three acts

Libretto by the composer based on the story of Cendrillon

Sung in French with English surtitles

First performance 23 April 1904, Salon of Mademoiselle de Nogueiras

From Rossini's La Cenerentola to Massenet’s Cendrillon, the repertoire is rich in Cinderella operas. Among the most interesting besides those two great works is the Cendrillon of Pauline Viardot (1821–1910), a miniature operetta written in old age and requiring only a handful of voices and piano. As well as being an elegant retelling of Pérrault’s classic fairy tale, it is – thanks to Viardot’s fascinating life story – a work that pulls together many threads of 19th-century Parisian musical life.

Hardly anyone was better connected than Viardot, in the most positive sense of the word. Her father was Manuel Garcia, the Spanish tenor for whom Rossini had composed the role of Almaviva in his Il barbiere di Siviglia. Her sister was the celebrated soprano Maria Malibran. In her own right, the mezzo-soprano Pauline Viardot became famous for her performances of Gluck, premiered Brahms’s Alto Rhapsody, created the role of Fidès in Meyerbeer’s Le Prophète and was the dedicatee of Saint-Saëns’s Samson et Dalila. Viardot was a fine pianist too, having studied with Liszt as a child, and she was close friends with George Sand and Chopin, delighting the Polish composer when she arranged some of his mazurkas as songs. She sang at Chopin’s funeral in 1849, in a performance of Mozart’s Requiem – just as she had nine years earlier at Napoleon’s funeral.

Viardot was also the muse of the great Russian writer Turgenev, who produced several librettos for her operettas, some of which enjoyed great success. It’s thought unlikely that any of Turgenev’s words found their way into Cendrillon, as he died some 20 years before its premiere, though it is possible that this operetta was composed sometime before it was first performed in 1904. Viardot had of course been a celebrated interpreter of Rossini’s Cenerentola, but her version of the story possesses its own light, distinctive touch.

Clayton Whites Hotel  | TICKETS €30

Thursday 24 October | 3.30 p.m.

Tuesday 29 October | 3.30 p.m.

Friday 1 November | 3.30 p.m.

Creative Team

Music Director
Jessica Hall


Previously at WFO: Répétiteur (Dinner at Eight, 2018).

Previous Engagements: Répétiteur (As One, Laura Kaminsky/Mark Campbell, Opera Memphis; L’elisir d’amore, Donizetti, Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra), Coach/Pianist (La finta giardiniera, Mozart, Portland Opera).

Stage Director
Davide Garattini Raimondi


Previous Engagements: Director (Lo Schiavo, Gomes, Teatro Lirico di Cagliari; Pimpinone, Albinoni, Teatro La Fenice; Maria Stuarda, Donizetti, Teatro Amazonas di Manaus – Brazil).

Forthcoming Engagements: Director (Le Petit Chaperon rouge, Guagnini/Garattini, Opéra Royal de Wallonie – Liege; Lakmé, Delibes, Opéra Royal de Wallonie – Liège).


Stage & Costume Designer
Luca Dalbosco


Previously at WFO: Assistant Set Designer (Il bravo, 2018).

Previous Engagements: Set Supervisor (Il cappello di paglia di Firenze, Nino Rota, Minnesota Opera), Set Designer Assistant (La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein, Offenbach, Oper Köln).

Forthcoming Engagements: Set Designer Assistant (Pelléas et Mélisande, Debussy, Teatro Regio di Parma; Die Fledermaus, Strauss, Staatsoper Hamburg; Le Memorie di Adriano, Marguerite Yourcenar, Teatro della Pergola – Florence).

Johann Fitzpatrick
Lighting Designer


Previously at WFO: Lighting Designer 2018 ShortWorks (Don Pasquale, Bernstein à la carte, La fanciulla del West).

Previous Engagements: Lighting Designer (The Scottsboro Boys, Kander and Ebb, Playhouse on Park; The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley, Timothy Allen McDonald, Playhouse on Park).


Le Baron de Pictordu
Ben Watkins


Previously at WFO: Jake Wallace (La fanciulla del West ShortWork, 2018).

Previous Engagements: Fleville (Andrea Chenier, Giordano, Midsummer Opera), Eugene Onegin (Eugene Onegin, Tchaikovsky, Serenata Singers).

Forthcoming Engagements: Soloist (Die schöne Müllerin, Schubert, Hertford Music Club).

Marie (Cendrillon)
Isolde Roxby

United Kingdom

Previous Engagements: Aurora (Aurora, Noah Mosley, Bury Court Opera and Grimeborn Festival); Eorran (Mad King Suibhne, Noah Mosley, Bury Court Opera); Tatiana cover (Eugene Onegin, Tchaikovsky, Buxton International Festival).

Cecilia Gaetani


Previously at WFO: Wowkle, La fanciulla del West ShortWork, 2018; Lucilla, La scala di seta ShortWork, 2017; La rossa (Risurrezione, 2017).

Previous Engagements: Costanza (L’isola disabitata, Haydn, Osternfestspiele Schloss Theater Rheinsberg); Dorabella (Così fan tutte, Mozart, Schloss Theater Rheinsberg); Rosina (Il barbiere di Siviglia, Rossini, Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino).

Rachel Goode

United Kingdom

Previous Engagements: Sister Catherine (Dead Man Walking, Jake Heggie, Welsh National Opera), High Priestess (Aida, Verdi, Irish National Opera), Fortune and Juno (The Return of Ulysses, Monteverdi, Opera Collective Ireland).

La Fée
Kelli-Ann Masterson


Previous Engagements: Vespetta (Pimpinone, Telemann, Opera Collective Ireland/Killaloe Chamber Music Festival); Despina (Così fan tutte, Mozart, Clyde Opera Group – Glasgow); Donal O’ Dare (Vagabones, Raymond Deane, Opera Collective Ireland).

Le Prince Charmant
Richard Shaffrey


Previously at WFO: Messenger (Il bravo, Mercadante, 2018), Dick Johnson (La fanciulla del West ShortWork, 2018), Chancellor of Rudenz (Maria de Rudenz, 2016).

Previous Engagements: The Officer (Ariadne auf Naxos, Strauss, Scottish Opera), Rodolfo (La bohème, Puccini, Euphonia Opera Studio).

Le Comte Barigoule
Mark Bonney


Previous Engagements: Jonathan (Saul, Handel, Dartington International Festival), Tamino (Die Zauberflöte, Mozart, Berlin Opera Festival), Paulino (Il matrimonio segreto, Cimarosa, Pop-up Opera).

Forthcoming Engagements: Florestan (Fidelio, Beethoven, The Fidelio Orchestra).