Cape Town Opera Presents South African Premiere of Pauline Viardot’s ‘Cendrillon’

By Afton Wooten

Photo Credit: Fiona MacPherson

Cape Town Opera, along with AM Productions, will present the South African premiere of Fred Abrahamse’s new adaptation of Pauline Viardot’s “Cendrillon.”

Abrahamse shared in a press release that, “Besides this show being an absolute joy for multi-generational theatre-goers, Cinderella is the ideal way to introduce young children to opera being fun, visually and musically delightful and just over an hour in duration. From ballerina fairies to the pumpkin-turned-carriage, a menagerie of adorable little helper mice, rats, horses, and lizards, and a giant music box set on a revolving stage, this production is going to be a visual spectacle and a feast for the senses.”

The cast is led by Fleur du Cap Theatre Award-winning sopranos Brittany Smith as Cinderella and Janelle Visagie as her stepsister Maguelonne. They will be joined by the company’s young artists Alida Scheepers as the Fairy Godmother, Tylor Lamani as Prince Charming, Van Wyk Venter as the Chamberlain Count Barigoule, Asisipho Petu as the stepsister Armelinde and Luvo Rasemeni as Cinderella’s stepfather.

José Dias will lead the chamber orchestra. The creative team also includes lighting designer Faheem Bardien, sets and costumes by Marcel Meyer, mask and costume construction by Phyllis Midlane, and choreography by Kirsten Isenberg. The Waterfront Theatre School ballet dancers will join the cast.

The new orchestration of Viardot’s score by Arthur Feder and Antoni Schonken will also make its premiere performance. The English script and lyrics were adapted by Fred Abrahamse, Marcel Meyer, and José Dias.

“Cendrillon” runs July 4-8 at the Artscape Opera House. Evening performances take place at 7 pm, with matinees starting at 2 pm.