The opera Cinderella is now available on DVD and Blu-ray from Sony Classical, in the production from December 2017, by Opera San Jose and the Packard Humanities Institute.
Alma composed the opera between the ages of 8-12. While the plot is based on the traditional fairy-tale, her story has been adapted to revolve around music. Cinderella is a composer, slave worked as a copyist by her step-mother, who runs the opera house on the edge of town. The prince is poet, derided at court for his artistic leanings and lack of interest in the affairs of state. Cinderella and the prince will find one another, just as words find their melody. And once Cinderella flees from the ball, the prince will search for her not with the aid of a glass slipper, but with the beginning of the melody, which only she will know how to continue.
From the Reviews: “A twelve-year-old British girl has written an opera of astounding wit, craft, and musical beauty… Deutscher has an effervescent sense of musical humor. The sheer amount of orchestral and vocal invention is stunning… A smart producer would mount Cinderella on Broadway. In addition to its comedic force, its score puts recent musicals to shame, whether from the Disney franchise or Andrew Lloyd Webber.” (Heather Mac Donald in The New Criterion).
“A young talent’s sensational burst to prominence, and a buoyant production of the highest professional standard combined to make this the once-in-a-lifetime opera-going event that had audiences standing and cheering.” (Opera Today).
“In a time of doubt and suspicion, hate and war-mongering, to find a voice as original and as uplifting as Alma Deutscher’s, is more than a gift – it is hope. Alma’s original rendition of the classic fairy tale is a chord to resound in our lives day after day. The variations in the story are little stars themselves: a girl who has music that leaps into her head; a prince who doesn’t want political power but poetry; a group of people, alien and jealous and angry with each other, brought together by those very things. The stuff of dreams? Not in San Jose during this premiere week of Deutscher’s four-act Cinderella. It reminds, remands, renews joy in the theater, in music, in creativity… music to fill heart and soul. (Opera Wire, 25.12.2017).
More reviews here.
On January 28, 2018, a short adaptation of Alma’s Cinderella, for young children, had its premiere on the studio stage of the Vienna State Opera, and was greeted with enthusiasm by the children and adults in the audience as well as by the press. Performances ran until May and were all sold out.
In December 2017, Opera San José and the Packard Humanities Institute presented the American première of Alma’s opera Cinderella. The five original performances in the California Theatre, SJ, were all sold out, and two additional performances . This was a lavish production with a large orchestra, choir and dancers. Alma has re-orchestrated the whole score for a full orchestra of 44 musicians, and has greatly expanded the music for the Ball scene and for the Finale (the royal wedding), adding new music for the choir to sing and for the dancers to dance to. The production was led by renowned British conductor Jane Glover, and directed by Brad Dalton. Cast: Cinderella: Vanessa Becerra, Prince: Jonas Hacker, Step-Mother: Mary Dunleavy, Zibaldona: Karin Mushegain, Griselda: Stacey Tappan, Fairy: Claudia Chapa, King: Nathan Stark, Minister (speaking role): Brian James Myer. (Photo: Bob Shomler)
There was a standing ovation for the premiere of Cinderella on 29.12.2016 in Vienna. All performances were sold out. Maestro Zubin Mehta was the patron of the production. See some of the reviews from the international press. Here is a snippet from the performance: Cinderella’s sad ballad from Act I. In Alma’s version of the story, the Prince find Cinderella in the end not with a shoe, but through this melody. Theresa Krügl sang Cinderella.