opera in two acts

music by Boris Asafiev

2 hours 10 minutes
1 act
60 min
interval 30 min
2 act
40 min
for viewers over 6 years old
performed in Russian

An opera for children written by Boris Asafiev in 1906, and staged in the style of the renowned Soviet film of the same name, which was released in 1947. It is a marvellous, magical tale in which the heroine, with the help of a fairy, turns into a princess overnight and finds herself at the royal ball. The opera brings warm smiles to the faces of adults, while it fills children with excitement and joy, and teaches them empathy and compassion. Based on the story by Charles Perrault and the screenplay by Evgeny Schwartz, the opera is a wonderful first introduction to musical theatre, in which the music complements the dance and the spoken dialogue.

Act I

Scene 1

Cinderellas Stepmother and stepsisters, Anna and Marianna, are getting ready for the ball thrown by the King of the fairy kingdom. Cinderella is cleaning the house and dreaming to see the ball  at least through the window of the palace. Cinderellas stepsisters Anna and Mariana are laughing at her. They discuss who is more beautiful of the two and who will be chosen by the Prince to become his wife.

Cinderella has sewn ball gowns for her Stepmother and stepsisters. She helps them get ready for the ball. The Kings Corporal arrives to invite everybody to the ball. The Stepmother and stepsisters leave; Cinderella stays alone.

Scene 2

Cinderellas godmother, a Fairy, brings her to the fairy wood. The Fairy wants to reward Cinderella for her kindness and patience. She turns Cinderellas old dress into a wonderful ball gown, makes a carriage from a pumpkin and gives Cinderella magic shoes.

Cinderellas dream has come true  shes going to the ball. The Fairy warns her to leave the palace by midnight. When the clock strikes twelve, the magic will lose its power.

Scene 3

The ball at the palace. The King greets his guests. Cinderella arrives. Everybody is enchanted by the unknown beauty. The Prince falls in love with her. The Kind Magician sends them together to a magic country. The Prince tells Cinderella of his love.

The clock is striking midnight. Cinderella runs away leaving a shoe in a hurry. The Kings suggests that they should find her using the shoe: if the shoe fits a girl, the girl will become the Princes fiancée. The Corporal and soldiers hurry to execute the order.

Act II

Scene 4

Cinderella is in the forest collecting firewood. She thinks about her meeting the Prince. The Prince, who is looking for his beloved, appears in the wood. Cinderella hides from him.

Scene 5

Cinderellas Stepmother and stepsisters dream of the future wed-ding. The woman is sure that the Prince will marry one of her daughters.

The Corporal appears. He announces the Kings order. Anna and Marianna try the shoe on but it doesnt fit. Stepmother begs Cinderella to help Anna; with Cinderellas help, the shoe fits.

Scene 6

Everybody in the palace is waiting for the Princes fiancée. When triumphant Stepmother brings Anna to the palace the King is at a loss. Marquis Pasdetrois invites everybody to dance. While Anna is dancing the shoe slips off her foot.

Suddenly the Fairy and Cinderella arrive. The King recognises the mysterious guest who enchanted everybody in the palace. Cinderellas Stepmother and sisters laugh at her, but Marquis Pasdetrois puts the shoe on Cinderellas foot and her dress transforms into a marvellous ball gown.

The Kind Magician brings the Prince back from faraway places where he tried to find Cinderella. At last the Prince and Cinderella are together.

Premiere of the production: 30 December 1999

Libretto by Olga Mukhortova after the screenplay by Evgeny Schwarz
and the fairy-tale by Charles Perrault
Orchestrated by Vladislav Uspensky

  • Stage DirectorOlga Mukhortova
  • Stage DesignerVyacheslav Okunev
  • Lighting DesignerMikhail Mekler
  • DirectorVyacheslav Kalyuzhny
  • Principal PianistMaria Mikirtumova
  • Chorus MastersAlexey Dmitriev, Sergey Tsyplenkov
  • ChoreographyMaria Bolshakova, Evgeny Myasishchev

Sets and costumes produced at the Vozrozhdenie Theatrical Design Studios

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