Monday Monologue previews Cinderella opera at Parks Library


Members of the ISU Opera Studio presented a preview of their upcoming performance of “Cendrillon,” an opera by Pauline Viardot, at the Monday Monologue on Oct. 21.

Susannah Crichton

Vibratos resonated through the library foyer during this week’s Monday Monologue, where the ISU Opera Studio presented a preview of their upcoming performance of “Cendrillon.”

The opera is part of ISU Theatre’s HERoic Season, which is showcasing performances written by women. “Cendrillon,” the French word for Cinderella, was written in the mid-1800s by Pauline Viardot, a 19th century French singer and composer. This particular opera was first performed around 1904.

“This is […] a telling of the Cinderella story, but it’s slightly different as a salon opera, so it’s slightly condensed, and all the details are immediate,” said Chad Sonka, assistant professor in music and theatre and director of ISU Opera Studio. “Everything is there, from the glass slipper to the stepsisters. It’s a really charming production, and the music is so enchanting and lovely.”

Salon operas are meant to be performed in a room similar to the Grant Wood Foyer, where the Monday Monologues are held, according to Sonka. He said the only thing missing — to have a truly authentic salon opera — was some champagne.

Sonka introduced the performers and their roles. Rayna Morano, senior in music, plays the fairy godmother. Morgan Sacia, senior in music, plays the role of Cinderella. The two evil stepsisters are played by Samantha Schmitz and Sadie Etzel, both seniors in music. Lastly, Joseph Tucholski, freshman in open option, plays the stepfather. Jodi Goble, assistant professor in music and theatre and co-director of ISU Opera Studio, plays the piano music for the set.

The student performers sang with expressive tones and facial movements, depicting the story that many know and love through high notes and harmonies.

Performances of “Cendrillon” will take place at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 and 1:30 p.m. Nov. 16 in the Martha-Ellen Tye Recital Hall.