|Title:||Cendrillon watercolors and sketches|
|Quantity:||1.2 Linear feet (1 oversized box)|
|Abstract:||The collection consists of fifty watercolor and gouache sketches of set and costume designs from the production of Cendrillon.|
Cendrillon is a chamber comic opera with dialogue in three acts by Pauline Viardot based on the story of Cinderella. The work, for a cast of seven with piano orchestration, premiered in Viardot's Paris salon on 23 April 1904, when she was 83, and was published later that year. Historians are unsure of when the opera was actually composed, although it is thought to be after the death of Viardot's friend (and possibly her lover) Ivan Turgenev in 1883 as he did not write the libretto. It has been described as "a retelling of the Cinderella story with Gallic wit, Italianate bel canto, and a quirkiness all her (Viardot's) own." The plot remains relatively faithful to Perrault's original fairy tale, but takes a much more lighthearted approach than the other operatic adaptations by Massenet, Rossini and Isouard. The evil stepmother is replaced with a bumbling and clueless stepfather and the Fairy Godmother (La FeÌ�e) actually appears as a guest at the party and entertains the guests with a song. A full performance of the opera lasts a little over an hour.
Gouache is like watercolor paint in that gum arabic is used as the binder and pigments provides the color. Whereas, the white of the paper provides the light for watercolors, the brilliance of gouache comes from the pigment. Some brands of gouache use chalk to make the paint opaque the better brands use more pigment. Gouache is often used by illustrators because it has such a velvety smooth surface that it reproduces well. Because many commercial works only have to last until they are photographed the artists are not concerned about permanence of the paint.
Cendrillon watercolors and sketches, 1900s. MS 2638. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries.