This Cinderella Misplaces a Melody, Not a Glass Slipper

Cinderella composer Alma Deutscher (in orange) and her sister Helen with the cast of 'Cinderella' after the Vienna premiere.

Cinderella composer Alma Deutscher (in orange) and her sister Helen with the cast of 'Cinderella' after the Vienna premiere. (Photo: Courtesy of Alma Deutscher)

Cinderella, the opera, is as miraculous as the fairy tale on which it’s based. Twelve-year-old Alma Deutscher wrote the score. She started composing the work when she was eight, and this sweet-voiced British girl is already drawing comparisons to another prodigy, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Deutscher’s Cinderella got a German-language debut in Vienna last year. Now, a new version with an English-language libretto (plus extra music for choir and dancers) premieres at San Jose Opera, with Deutscher herself playing violin and piano in the orchestra. My co-host Tomás Riley notes that Deutscher shows wisdom beyond her age by creating a new kind of Cinderella, a heroine who is not only pretty, but someone of talent and intellect. In Deutscher’s version, Cinderella is a composer, and the prince — also a poet — seeks her not as the owner of a lost glass slipper, but as the composer of a melody that’s entranced him. We’re entranced. Details here.

This Cinderella Misplaces a Melody, Not a Glass Slipper 13 December,2017Cy Musiker

Author

Cy Musiker

Cy Musiker co-hosts The Do List and covers the arts for KQED News and The California Report.  He loves live performance, especially great theater, jazz, roots music, anything by Mahler. Cy has an MJ from UC Berkeley’s School of Journalism, and got his BA from Hampshire College. His work has been recognized by the Society for Professional Journalists with their Sigma Delta Chi Award for Public Service in Journalism. When he can, Cy likes to swim in Tomales Bay, run with his dog in the East Bay Hills, and hike the Sierra.

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