Pittsburgh premiere of Viardot’s Cinderella celebrates the company’s 10th birthday – Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, October 27-29, 2023.
Resonance Works kicks off its second decade with the Pittsburgh premiere of CINDERELLA by Pauline Viardot-García in a weekend of opera parties on October 27, 28, and 29 in the Studio at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall in Carnegie, PA. Each immersive performance begins with a royal soirée, with refreshments and party entertainment from surprise Resonance Works artists. The audience will then become guests at Prince Charming’s ball, woven into the magic of the beloved fairy tale.
“The last week of October marks the 10th birthday of our company, and we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than with a ball!” says Maria Sensi Sellner, Resonance Works’ Artistic & General Director. “For a decade, we have invited audiences to experience and engage with music performances in intimate, unique, and unexpected ways. Our Cinderella will be all of these and more – including experiencing our extraordinary cast from no further away than the 5th row, celebrating with us and with each other, and getting to know a joyful, beautiful, and too-rarely-heard work by an extraordinary woman.”
Born in Paris to a Spanish family of singers, Pauline Viardot-García was an opera star in her own right by her late teens, becoming one of the most celebrated and admired artists in late 19th-century Europe. She retired from performing at age 42, focusing on teaching and hosting musical “salons,” which cultivated a whole generation of talent, championing the music of composers including Gabriel Fauré, Camille Saint-Saëns, and Pyotr Tchaikovsky. Her numerous compositions premiered in these salons, including the opera Cendrillon (Cinderella), which premiered in 1904 when she was 83. Hector Berlioz said she was “one of the greatest artists who comes to mind in the past and present history of music.”
Resonance Works’ CINDERELLA features a new expanded English version by long-time Resonance Works collaborator Ben Robinson, which depicts composer Pauline Viardot imagining her younger self written into the Cinderella story (offering advice as her fairy godmother). Acclaimed soprano Emily Pulley directs the production and stars as Older Pauline/Fairy Godmother, bringing decades of experience from the top opera companies across the U.S., including a frequent presence at the Metropolitan Opera. Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist alum Shannon Jennings and Pittsburgh native Donovan Elliot Smith star as Cinderella and Prince Charming are making their Resonance Works debuts alongside soprano Katy Lindhart as sassy stepsister Maguelonne and tenor Gabriel Hernandez as the Prince’s right hand, Count Barigoule. Rounding out Cinderella’s not-so-functional family are long-time favorites, and Carnegie Mellon alums Gillian Hassert and Patrick McNally. Rob Frankenberry brings his multidimensional talent to the piano, performing as Pauline’s dear friend, famed composer Frédéric Chopin. Frankenberry also created a new trio arrangement of the score, featuring violinist Maureen Conlon Gutierrez and cellist Elisa Kohanski.
Each event begins with an hour of party festivities and mixed-genre cabaret performances by Resonance Works artists. On Friday and Saturday, guests are encouraged to arrive at 7 p.m. to enjoy a specialty cocktail created by Bar Marco and hors d’oeuvres from LadyFingers Boutique Catering. Sunday’s more family-friendly fête begins at 2 p.m., complete with fairy tale crafts, a cake for the company’s 10th birthday, and themed cookies from Sweet Bites Cookies. Fairy tale attire is encouraged all weekend!
TICKETS AND DETAILS
Resonance Works’ production of Cinderella has performances from Friday, October 27 and Saturday, October 28, 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, October 29, 2:00 p.m. at The Studio in the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall, Carnegie.
Tickets are now on sale. Space in the Studio is limited to ensure a delightful, immersive experience. The evening will last approximately 2.5 hours, including the 65-minute opera.