Nicolò Isouard


Cinderella (Cendrillon, 1810)
A fairy-tale opera in three acts

Libretto by Charles Guillaume Etienne
after the fairy-tale by Charles Perrault
English translation by Gilly French
Dialogues by Jeremy Gray


Clorinde Aoife O'Sullivan
Tisbe Jenny Stafford
Cinderella Kate Howden
Prince Bradley Smith
Dandini Benjamin Durrant
Alidor Nicholas Merryweather
Baron Alistair Ollerenshaw
Chorus Lucy Cronin, Susanne Dymott, Matthew Hamilton Healy
Conductor Harry Sever
Director Jeremy Gray



Cinderella lives with her step-father, the Baron, and his spoilt daughters, Clorinde and Tisbe, but is unkindly treated by all as a servant.  Nevertheless her innate goodness encourages her to be helpful to her selfish family and not to complain. 

Prince Ramiro and his wise tutor Alidor, in their quest for a virtuous bride for the Prince, are in disguise.  Dandini, the Prince’s squire, is also in disguise, as the Prince, and consequently has a huge appeal for the vain sisters; Cinderella falls in love with a humble footman from the Court.  The Prince is to hold a ball at which he will choose a bride: the Baron, Clorinde and Tisbe accept their invitations with pleasure and set off for a wonderful party, leaving Cinderella weeping at home: she falls asleep.

When she awakes she discovers she is also at the ball and magnificently attired, assisted by the magic of Alidor whom she had innocently assisted when he was disguised as a beggar.  She is given a magic rose which will mask her identity, and she appears to all as a beautiful but mysterious Princess.  The sisters and Dandini continue their flirtation whilst Cinderella again meets the mysterious footman: she accepts him as her champion in the games.  Victorious, he claims her hand but lets slip that he is really the Prince:  horrified by all that this implies, Cinderella runs away, leaving a slipper behind.

The truth of identities gradually dawns on the confused company.  The Prince seeks the owner of the lost slipper.  Cinderella returns, now in her own old and dusty clothes, and is taunted by her family who try to marry her off to Dandini.  The slipper test reveals Cinderella as the girl loved by the Prince.  The couple accept each other as they really are, and a new life begins.