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<<  -- 2 --  Maria Nockin    AN OFT TOLD TALE

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Modern audiences may wonder why he wrote the part of the Prince for a woman. Massenet knew that even though the age of the castrato was gone, his audience still liked to hear high voices in masculine roles. Thus, in constructing this fairy tale opera, he wrote the role for either a mezzo-soprano with a high extension or a dark-timbred soprano whose voice reaches into the mezzo range.

Jennifer Holloway as the Prince Charming. Photo © 2006 Ken Howard
Jennifer Holloway as the Prince Charming. Photo © 2006 Ken Howard

On 9 August 2006, the Santa Fe Opera presented its own version of the oft told tale. As the sun sank behind the surrounding mountains, the audience gazed on Barbara de Limburg's functional off-white set upon which the original words of the story were written in large script. Most of the scenes followed the libretto literally, but the realm of the Fairy Godmother was transported from a forest primeval to a cityscape of rooftops dotted with chimneys. The upper reaches of tall buildings also brought to mind a foggy, mystery filled atmosphere, and it worked well with the help of Duane Schuler's effective lighting.

 

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Copyright © 27 August 2006 Maria Nockin, Arizona USA

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