Cinderella Ballet in three acts by music by Sergey Prokofiev

Ballet in three acts by music by Sergey Prokofiev

Libretto - Nikolai Volkov
By the eponymous tale of Charles Feather

Choreography and Directing - Prof. HIKMET Mehmedov
Set design - BORIS STOYNOV
Costume Designer - PETKOVA-STOYNOVA





Cinderella's father

Cinderella's stepmother

Cinderella's pretended, step-sister

Cinderella's sister brought to Cinderella


Dance teacher

Four gentlemen


History of creation

Charles Feather's classic Cinderella story is one of the most popular storylines for musical and stage works. The operas of the same name by Joaquin Rossini (Rome, 1817), Jules Masset (Paris, 1899), Hermano Wolf-Ferrari (1900, Venice) are very popular. Nayden Gerov's three-act opera (1965/1966; Varna and Stara Zagora) also has undeniable artistic merit. The ballets on this plot are also notable, with the works of Fernando Sor (London, 1822), Catherine Cavos (St. Petersburg, 1824), BA Fetinhof Shell (St. Petersburg, 1893), Sydney Jones (( London, 1906), Frederick d'Elage (1938, London). Moscow Bolshoi Theater offers Tchaikovsky to write Cinderella Ballet; however, this project remains unfulfilled.

In the spring of 1941 the Opera and Ballet Theater, S. M. Kirov "commissioned Sergey Prokofiev to write a ballet on" Cinderella "and the composer willingly went to work. The idea is very likely to come from Prokofiev himself. Galina Ulanova recalls that even before the formal order was reached, the two had talked about the emblematic tale of Charles Perot. It happened in the winter before the Second World War. Prokofiev asks Ulanova what role she would like to play. "Snow White," she replies. Roman - Korsakov wrote such a beautiful opera Snow White that I do not have the courage to take up the subject. Maybe we should try Cinderella ... - the composer suggests.

When Prokofiev's homeland was treacherously attacked by Hitler's troops in early 1941, Prokofiev stopped working on ballet and, responding to the feelings of his countrymen, responded with two songs and a march, which were immediately set on the battlefield. In fact, it was during those terrible, tumultuous days that the idea to write an opera on the subject of War and Peace crystallized. During his evacuation, the composer returns to the Cinderella score.

The ballet was conceived as a work on which to base the story "Masha - Chernushka" from the collection "Russian Folk Tales" by Alexander Afanasiev. In the course of the work, however, the authors - Prokofiev and librettist Nikolay Volkov - rely mainly on Perot's fairy tale, while maintaining the basic leitmotif: the superiority and exalted power of honesty, modesty and kindness over envy, soullessness, aggression and greed.

Sergei Prokofiev leaves first-hand testimony as to what goals he set and how he pursued them while writing Cinderella's music. Before the premiere, he published a short text raising the curtain on his creative laboratory: "The main thing I wanted to put into Cinderella's music was the poetic love of Cinderella and the prince: the birth and flowering of their feelings, the difficulties on the road and pursuing their dreams. A great part in my work on "Cinderella" was played by the fairy tale of the plot, which set me as a composer a number of interesting tasks - the mystery of a good fairy - grandmother, the fantastic twelve dwarfs, jumping at midnight from the clock and reminding of Cinderella that it is time going home; the rapid change in the countries of the world where the prince falls while searching for Cinderella; the living and poetic breathing of nature in the image of the four fairies of the seasons. We, the authors of the ballet, wanted the viewers of this fabulous work to see in it living, feeling and acting people. In music, Cinderella is characterized by three themes: the first - the unhappy Cinderella, the second - the pure and dreamy Cinderella, and the third - the loving and happy Cinderella. In music, I tried to portray the characters of the kind and dreamy Cinderella, her timid father, the evil stepmother, the avid sisters, the ardent prince, so that the viewers would not be indifferent to the joys and sorrows of the characters ... "

In the fall of 1943, when the invaders were finally repulsed far west, Prokofiev finally returned to Moscow and completed ballet. Bolshoi Theater included it in its poster for the 1944-1945 season and appointed Rostislav Zakharov as choreographer. Olga Lepeshinska and Galina Ulanova dance in the first performances in the role of Cinderella, and Mihail Gabovich and Vladimir Preobrazhenski alternate as Prince.

For the first time in Bulgaria the ballet of Prokofiev is staged by Margarita Arnaudova. It premiered on February 28, 1967 at the Ruse (at that time folk) opera. Conducted by Alexander Vladigerov and starring are Nadia Rumenin and Dimitar Gaydarov. In 1981, German choreographer Peter van Dijk presented Prokofiev's ballet at the Sofia Opera. Conductor is Nedyalko Nedyalkov, and the parties of Cinderella and Prince are entrusted respectively to Vera Kirova and Ivan Tsanov.