Wednesday, December 26, 2012

My first post on Cendrillon!

Yesterday was Christmas day and I must confess I had the best Christmas ever! Since I live in Brasil the season now is summer, so, hot as hell summer. So we had a barbecue by the pool with constant jumping inside it, it was the only way to keep our bodies in a bearable temperature. But it was rather fun! So since we’re talking about good times, let’s talk about something I love love love from my favorite French composer…
My first post on Massenet’s Cendrillon. So I haven’t watched the whole opera yet for one simple reason, I can’t find it anywhere on the internet, and stores just don’t sell these DVDs here in Brazil. Yes, yes, there are many, many productions out there on YouTube of Cendrillon, but I wanna watch the one from the Royal Opera House with Joyce DiDonato and Alice Coot!
There are a few clips, manly of Joyce, on YouTube from this opera, and only watching these snippets already made me absolutely fall in love with this opera! I already love Massenet, Manon was the opera that made me like opera in general after all, and oh God, it is impossible not to fall in love with his Cinderella. I’ve put up there the videos of the parts I’m gonna talk about in case you guys wanna see it.
One of the parts I like the most is the trio at the end of the third act! How the mezzos voices entwine and just sound so lovely, the color that comes out of it is superb! A especific moment in that trio is when the Fairy Godmother finally lets Cendrillon and the Prince Charmant see each other. The chorus kicks in ever so softly with a little melody that sounds so much like a Disney dream (I’m sure Disney stole this idea or something from Massenet).  And Cendrillon just looks scared and even a little ashamed because she’s in rags (correct me if I’m wrong, it’s just what I see) in front of her Prince, but then the prince calls her out and they embrace and it’s just SO ROMANTIC! God, really, I’m not a very romantic person, but, this moment is so full of pure sentiment and love, oh, it brings tears to my eyes, ‘cause at the end of the day they are so young and ingénue!  And especially when they arrive to plead mercy to the Fairy Godmother, the sound is just, crazy good (I wish you people could see my face, it describes what I feel about this moment perfectly!).
Oh and then there is Cendrillon’s and Prince Charmart’s alone encounter, which is just, so good! The guy is head over hills in love with her, and she can hardly believe that she’s actually there nevertheless that the prince himself feel for her. It’s just, this piece found its way through my heart and I must say, I can listen to it over and over again, and even though I don’t speak French, the music speaks for itself. The music alone can tell the story. And Alice Coot has some serious man swag going on. I showed this to my sister (my sister is a cosplayer so she's more than used to seeing girls playing boys, she herself does that a lot, so she can't be fooled easly) and she was astonished to learn that it was a woman. She could only tell once Alice started singing, but she tells me that before that she could have sworn Alice was in fact a man!
Another part that I love is Cendrillon’s first aria, oh sooo melancholic, and not in an annoying way (I normally find melancholic stuff irritating), it’s just Massenet, and I love his music! Well this first aria is awesome, so of course I went out there and asked my teacher if I could sing it. Yeah, I’m really a soprano so you can only guess that she said no. I was a bit upset, but she let me pick anything from the soprano French repertoire. But then when I downloaded the whole score from IMSLP the characters descriptions says that Cendrillon is a soprano! Don't believe me? I'll printscreen it for you! LOL Just in case you are wondering, I printed the part for this aria, just in case :)
Reste au foyer petit grillon, résignetoi Cendrille!

Sometimes I think the voice is like women’s hair, we’re never satisfied with it, it’s always “Oh, it could be slightly darker” or “Why can’t I reach that note with that color?” these little phrases even seem as if I’m talking about hair for Christ sakes!
I love French and I love French opera, so this is definitely not my only post on Cendrillon, but I just wanted to leave my first impression of the piece. Have a good one peeps!

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