Massenet – Cendrillon (“Cinderella”)

I’ve recently spent a week playing the bass part in Massenet’s opera “Cendrillon” for Leeds University Union’s OperaSoc. The plot should be familiar to all of you, as it is just another version of the Cinderella story…

There’s nothing much to worry the double bass player, unless you are doing this as part of a very small orchestra – there are places where the double bass part divides (albeit usually as a pizz & arco versions of the same note). However, if your band has only one cellist, then you might have to cover some of the lines where the cello part divides as well. There were points where I found myself covering three cello lines as well as the two basslines. Fortunately, there’s significant overlap!

The only other advice is my usual operatic advice: WATCH THE CONDUCTOR. Singers miss beats, or add in extra ones, and it’s up to the band to follow the conductor. Make sure, therefore, that you’ve got a good sightline between you and the conductor and put your music in it, so you don’t have to move your eyes too far between dots and beats.


Incidentally, what *was* Massenet on? In Manon, he had her singing about a table, and in Cinders, she sings about a chair. Was he some sort of furniture fetishist?

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