Libretto by Nikolay Volkov revised by Kirill Simonov after the fairy tale by Charles Perrault
Staged by Kirill Simonov
Musical Director and Conductor: Alexander Novikov
Stage Designer: Emil Kapelyush
Costume Designer: Stefania Hanalda Graurogkaite
Lighting Designer: Evgeny Ganzburg
Répétiteur: Larisa Matyukhina-Vasilevskaya
2 hours 35 minutes
Première of the production: 12 July 2006
The production was shown on tour to Bangkok (Thailand, 2010)
The production received the Golden Mask National Theatre Award in the category Best Ballet Production (2007)
“Cinderella” staged by Kirill Simonov balances gracefully between lyric and irony. The famous ballet by Sergey Prokofiev has revealed quite a Hollywood theatricality and nearly childlike sincerity on the stage of the Novosibirsk opera and ballet theatre (NOVAT). The Siberians’ achievement was distinguished by the “Golden Mask” National theatre festival. The ballet was named “the best production” in the year of 2007.
Sergey Prokofiev first conceived the idea to compose the ballet Cinderella in 1940. In her memoirs The author of the favourite ballets Galina Ulanova is writing: “I remember the pre-war winter, when I lived between Leningrad and Moscow. The Director the Leningrad Opera and Ballet Theatre named after Sergey Kirov Evgeny Radin wanted our ballet company to have good relationship with Prokofiev and asked him to write for us. Once he brought Prokofiev to me to the Moscow Hotel, and Sergey Sergeyevich asked me, what role I wanted to dance. „Snow Maiden,“ — I said. „Well, Rimsky-Korsakov composed such a good Snow Maiden that I don’t dare to tackle the plot after him... Let’s do Cinderella,“ — he said half questioningly, half affirmatively.“
The Great Patriotic War interrupted composer’s work on the ballet. He started working on the opera War and Peace and only after he finished first version of the opera, Sergey Prokofiev turned back to Cinderella, which he finished in 1944.
„The most important thing that I wanted to convey in the music of Cinderella is the poetic love of Cinderella and the Prince: the beginning and flourish of love, obstacles on its way, the dream that comes true. The fabulousness of the plot mattered a lot in Cinderella: as a composer, I had a number of interesting tasks to tackle <...> . But we (the authors of the ballet) wanted that the audience would see the real people.
The character of Cinderella has three main themes. The first theme is the offended Cinderella, the second one is Cinderella pure and dreamy; the third wide theme is Cinderella in love, the happy Cinderella. In my music I wanted to portray the characters of the sweet and dreamy Cinderella, her contentious Stepmother, her stepsisters, the young Prince, so that the audience wouldn’t stay indifferent to their troubles and joys.
For me it was very important not only to create a dramatic structure, but also to make the ballet apt for dancing, so that dances would appear from the plot, so that the dances would be diverse, and the ballet dancers would be able to dance a lot and to show their art.“
Sergey Prokofiev. November, 1945.
In 1945, Sergey Prokofiev was awarded the Stalin prize of 1st degree for the ballet Cinderella.
A room in Stepmother’s house. Cinderella, in an old dress, is doing the dirtiest house work. Stepmother and two her daughters are busy getting ready for the forthcoming ball. Suddenly a row breaks out between the girls. Stepmother interferes and forces the quarrelsome daughters out of the room. Left alone, Cinderella feels nostalgic. She takes out a portrait of her mother, recollecting happy days of her childhood.
Last-minute preparations before the ball. Cinderella is watching their noisy preparations, but she doesn’t even dare to think about the ball.
Her Stepmother and stepsisters have left for the palace. Cinderella is waltzing dreamily, trying to repeat the movements of the dances she has just seen. A Fairy appears. She has come to reward Cinderella for her kindness. She gives the girl fairy shoes. At the sign of the Fairy, fairies of the seasons arrive. They give a magic Unicorn to Cinderella. She will go to the ball party riding the Unicorn. Everything is ready for her departure, but the Fairy warns the girl that the magic spells will work only till midnight. If Cinderella doesn’t leave the palace on time, she will instantly turn back into a dirty girl.
The ball room in the palace. At the height of the party Stepmother and her daughters arrive. The Prince arrives. The sisters are desperately trying to draw his attention while dancing mazurka.
Suddenly an unknown girl appears followed by the numerous suitors. Everybody is stunned by her beauty. Stepmother and stepsisters don’t recognize Cinderella. The Prince is enraptured by the girl, he keeps next to her. The ballroom is getting empty. The Prince and Cinderella stay alone. The Prince confesses his love to her. Cinderella is carried away by the feeling to the young man and forgets about the time. The clock is striking midnight. Horror-stricken, Cinderella rushes out of the palace and she loses her shoe on the run. The Prince takes the shoe: it will help him to find the mysterious beauty.
After the ball party the Prince summons all the courtiers. He misses the mysterious beauty, but nobody knows the name of the owner of the tiny shoe: such shoes have never been made in their city.
The Prince sets off in search of the beautiful stranger. He goes to Spain, then to the East, but can’t find a girl, whose foot would fit the crystal shoe.
Early morning. Cinderella is sleeping in a corner of the house. She wakes up and recollects the previous night. But for the shoe that she is hiding under her apron, Cinderella would think that she has had a dream about the ball.
Her stepsisters arrive. They tell Cinderella about their success at the ball, and have a row, as always. Suddenly the agitated Stepmother runs in: the Prince is wandering around the city looking for the girl, who has left a shoe at the ball.
The Prince arrives and asks the sisters to try the shoe on. They are trying to fit their feet into the tiny shoe. Then the Stepmother decides to try the shoe on. Suddenly Cinderella accidentally drops the second shoe.
The Prince is stunned: he looks closely at the girl and recognizes the girl, who he has been looking for. The Fairy arrives to unite the loving couple.