Cendrillon (Cinderella), with a libretto by Henri Cain based on Perrault's fairytale, premiered in 1899 in Paris. Best known for composing over thirty operas, the composer, Jules Massenet (1842-1912) purposely did not attend the premiere, but received a telegram the following day from baritone Fugère recording its triumph.
Incorporating the composer's sense of humour and wit, the use of recurrent motifs is subtle and often thought to be inspired by Richard Wagner. Cendrillon contains musical echoes of the 18th century, incorporating gallant music, the use of the Lute and Viola D'Amore and a series of Ballet entrées. The Opera is in four acts with 19 characters and a chorus. The role of Prince Charming is a breeches role whilst the melody lines of the Fairy Godmother are characterised by trills and arpeggios. Massenet's Cendrillon remains popular to this day and was notably performed at the Royal Opera House in 2011.