Jules Massenet


Apr 12 - May 11

“Glorious,” raved the New York Times when Joyce DiDonato sang the title role of Cendrillon at the Royal Opera in 2011. “Her performance was thoroughly enchanting.” Now, for the first time ever, Massenet’s sumptuous take on the Cinderella story comes to the Met, with DiDonato starring in the title role. She is paired with mezzo-soprano Alice Coote in the trouser role of Prince Charming, Kathleen Kim as the Fairy Godmother, and Stephanie Blythe as the imperious Madame de la Haltière. Bertrand de Billy conducts Laurent Pelly’s imaginative storybook production.

Production a gift of The Sybil B. Harrington Endowment Fund

Additional funding from Elizabeth M. and Jean-Marie R. Eveillard

Cendrillon is produced in association with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London; Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona; Thèatre Royal de la Monnaie, Brussels; and Opèra de Lille. Original production by The Santa Fe Opera.

Read Synopsis Read Program
  • Sung In
  • French
  • Met Titles In
  • English
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Estimated Run Time
  • 2 hrs 47 mins
  • House Opens
  • Acts I & II 71 mins
  • Intermission 30 mins
  • Acts III & IV 66 mins
  • Opera Ends
New Production Apr 12 - May 11

This production has completed for the season.

Be sure to check out our remaining productions on the season list.

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World Premiere: Opéra-Comique, Paris, 1899

Charles Perrault’s 1698 fairy tale, the classic telling of the Cinderella story, is an excellent source for an opera—providing color, romance, and relatable themes for audiences of all ages. The work includes many moments in which Massenet is at his best and most widely accessible, from the pageantry and glowing musical nostalgia for the French baroque in the court scenes to the otherworldliness of the love music to the wit and humor that permeate the work as a whole.


Jules Massenet (1842–1912), a French composer wildly popular in his day, was noted for his operas, songs, and oratorios. The libretto for Cendrillon was fashioned by Henri Cain (1857–1937), a dramatist known for providing libretti for operas, including several by Massenet. The Cinderella story was written by the French author Charles Perrault (1628–1703), who, beyond crafting a number of famous fairy tales, was a noted academic of his time.

Production Laurent Pelly

Set Designer Barbara de Limburg

Costume Designer Laurent Pelly

Lighting Designer Duane Schuler

Choreographer Laura Scozzi

Jules Massenet


Jules Massenet


Perrault’s originally story was published at the end of the 17th century, and the opera and its music preserve references to that era of lavish court entertainments and clear-cut distinctions of social hierarchies. It is, however, a fairy tale, and as such, it takes place in an indeterminate past in which magic, whimsy, and love at first sight are features of everyday life.


Massenet’s score features a preponderance of the lower female voices—including a mezzo-soprano as the object of Cendrillon’s affection—that were so favored by French composers in the 19th century. The result is an otherworldly yet sensual tonal palette that serves as a rich background for this familiar tale. Against all the fairy-tale wonder of the score, the title character and her prince are recognizably human. Their Act II love duet is a masterful moment emblematic of Massenet’s elegant style: The prince is lyrically effusive, while all of Cendrillon’s gushing emotion is expressed in a single refined yet poignant phrase as she says “You are my Prince Charming,” recalled at other points throughout the score.