Cinderella receives US premiere12:59, 2nd January 2018
Alma Deutscher’s first opera, Cinderella, received a standing ovation at its world premiere in Vienna in December 2016, when the British composer was just 11 years old. The work was given its US premiere last month, in a sell-out run at Opera San José, conducted by Jane Glover.
Beatrix Williams, aged 10, went along to the opening night at the California Theatre in San José and reported her impressions of the opera to Opera Now.
Alma Deutscher’s Cinderella is truly spectacular. Written when the composer was (like me) 10 years old, the opera is a special one. The singing never stops, the rhythm is strong and heartbreaking, and the music draws you in – you don’t want it to stop.
The set was as ‘realistic’ as you might expect to see in a movie of Cinderella, and the lighting perfectly suited the story and emotions. The costumes were stunning: they made even the ugly sisters look good! As I sat there in my red velvet chair and the music began to play, I felt as if I was trapped in a magical realm of enchantment, riding a wonderful wave of passion. Alma’s writing made the big stage come to life in a musical whirlpool.
Alma was on stage, sitting at her grand piano, violin in her hand, looking very much like Cinderella herself. When the actual Cinderella [soprano Vanessa Becerra] sang her aria, ‘When the day falls into darkness’, telling us that ice was gripping her soul, you could feel the iciness in your own soul too. It was heartbreakingly sad.
This staging of Cinderella was amazing: I enjoyed it as much as anyone probably ever could! If you are reading this article Alma, know this: you were greatly loved on the first night that your opera was performed in the US at the California Theatre in San José.
Alma Deutscher’s Cinderella, staged by Opera San José, is available to watch on medici.tv until 20 March 2018.