Enchanting Cinderella for Winter School Holidays at Artscape 4-8 July 2023


An enchanting operatic production of Cinderella will come to life in the upcoming winter school holidays in a spectacular family-friendly production at the Artscape Opera House from 4 to 8 July 2023. Presented by Cape Town Opera (CTO) in association with AM Productions, the South African premiere of this brand-new adaptation of Pauline Viardot’s chamber opera Cendrillon will be directed by Fred Abrahamse and features a cast of world-class singers accompanied by a chamber orchestra, with fantastical costumes and grand staging that will transport audiences of all ages to a true fairy-tale world.

From the moment they enter the auditorium, patrons will be dazzled by a sparkling set framed by a giant mirror to create a mesmerising effect and reflect all aspects of the performance. Expect a magical experience brimming with all the comedy, drama, glitter and glamour familiar to fans of opera and Disneyesque musicals, all underpinned by Viardot’s melodic score, glorious songs and an English adaptation of the lyrics and script for the enjoyment of the whole family.

Arguably one of the most beloved children’s stories of all time, Cinderella has long captured the imagination of countless children, writers, composers, choreographers and filmmakers. Based on Charles Perrault’s traditional fairy-tale, Cinderella tells of the sweet and kind girl who slaves away in her stepfather’s household, subservient to his demands and those of her two mean-spirited but hilarious stepsisters. Thanks to her benevolent Fairy Godmother, Cinderella attends the Prince’s royal ball where they meet and fall in love. In her mad midnight dash from the ball Cinderella drops a glass slipper. The Prince finds it and after searching for her far and wide, is finally reunited with his beloved and they live happily ever after.

The all-star 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 Cape Town Opera Judith Neilson Young Artists Alida Scheepers as the Fairy Godmother (pictured), 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, Baron de Pictordu. The outstanding creative team includes musical direction by José Dias, lighting design by Faheem Bardien, sets and costumes by Marcel Meyer, mask and costume construction by Phyllis Midlane and choreography by Kirsten Isenberg. The fairies and creatures are played by young ballet dancers from The Waterfront Theatre School who range from eight to eleven years of age. The original score is also receiving a brand-new orchestration by award-winning composer duo Arthur Feder and Antoni Schonken.  The script and lyrics have been adapted by Fred Abrahamse, Marcel Meyer and José Dias.

According to Abrahamse, 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.

Cape Town Opera is deeply grateful to Mr and Mrs Stanislas Yassukovich for their generous sponsorship of this production.

Cinderella is performed in English and runs from 4 to 8 July 2023 at the Artscape Opera House. Evening performances are on 4, 6,7 and 8 July at 7pm, with matinees on 5, 6 and 8 July at 2pm. Tickets range from R180 to R400 through Computicket or 0214217695, and advanced booking is highly recommended. Children of all ages are welcome. www.capetownopera.co.za.