West Chester University’s Opera Theatre to Present ‘Cinderella’ by Female Composer from 1904

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Zoe Bennett and Nile Gay in Cinderella by Pauline Viardot
Image via West Chester University.
Zoe Bennett and Nile Gay in Cinderella.

West Chester University’s Opera Theatre presents Cinderella by Pauline Viardot on Friday, Nov. 18 at 7:30 PM and Saturday, Nov. 19 at 3 PM in the Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall, Philips Memorial Building at 700 S. High Street in West Chester.

This playful adaptation of Cinderella is a 1904 chamber opera that was originally written in French by a rare-for-its-day female composer, Pauline Viardot. Viardot herself was an acclaimed mezzo-soprano and opera star from a singing family. She was a piano student of Franz Liszt and later arranged many of Chopin’s Mazurkas as songs. One of her arranged Mazurkas by Chopin is included in this production and sung by the Fairy Godmother. 

“We are thrilled to welcome audiences of all ages to see Cinderella,” said Assistant Professor and Director of Opera Nicholas Provenzale. “It is the perfect introduction to opera for every age. It follows the familiar and popular classic fairytale, the music is beautiful and accessible, it is performed in an English translation with English supertitles, and it is just a little over an hour long. We invite the entire community to join us for this magical, family-friendly opera.”

WCU Opera’s production of Cinderella includes 14 students with accompaniment by one onstage pianist. Vocal Performance major Zoe Bennett performs in the title role as Cinderella with Nile Gay as the Prince.

“I can’t wait for everyone to see this show. I am having so much fun experimenting with the multi-dimensional and complex character of Cinderella as she works her way through neglect, self-doubt, hope, love and fear,” said Bennett. “Singing Viardot’s beautiful music is an added bonus!”

The remaining members of the cast include:  Kiley Aikey, David Arlen, James Baker, Daniel Doyle, Lauren Fetzer, Joe Galdi, Albert Gonzales, Jacqueline Kelly, Jess McNeely, Grace Vickery, Bridget Warner, Julia Webster, and Pianist Ben Pessognelli.

Limited parking is available across and along the street just outside the Philips Memorial Building. Parking is also available in West Chester’s M Lot, just a short walk South. Purchasing tickets in advance is strongly encouraged.

General Admission tickets are $7 at the online Box Office. Tickets for faculty, staff, students, and children under 12 are free.

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