Reviews Cendrillon - Glyndebourne Tour 2018

« The predominantly female singers are strongly casted.(...) her Prince Charming, Eléonore Pancrazi, is also a find, with a lovely, seductive mezzo and looks that, for a britches role, suggest eroticism rather than state it. »

« In the past some productions have given the role of Prince Charming to a tenor, but Massenet specifies a soprano, and Glyndebourne rightly has the shining, elegant Eléonore Pancrazi (essential casting, as this production has a twist in store). »

« It’s a reading helpfully underscored by Massenet casting his prince as a woman, played here by the mellow Éléonore Pancrazi. That also allows for rapturous intertwined vocal writing to rival with Strauss. »

« It’s finely sung. Le Saux and Pancrazi sound ravishing together. »

« What about the Prince? Gillibrand deliberately dressed him down – a trick one has seen in other opera productions, but one I happened to like here, because it turned the focus onto the voice of mezzo-soprano Eléonore Pancrazi, Corsican-born and Paris-trained. What a sensational duo he/she, the sensational travesti role, and Le Saux’s Lucette made together. Were we hearing a genuine Paris sound, so exquisitely did they match and parallel and meld into each other. Duets composed of equal voices have a definite habit of tickling the parts Heineken can’t reach. »

« the passion of Alix Le Saux's sweet Cinders and Eleonore Pancrazi's impassioned Prince - almost a match for Alice Coote in Laurent Pelly's Royal Opera near-winner - truly ignites. »

« This is a magical opera, (...) and more than decently sung by a cast including tow francophones, Alix Le Saux as Cendrillon and Éléonore Pancrazi as the travesti Prince. »

« Only in scenes featuring the Fairy Godmother – (...)  and the ecstatic love duets between the neglected Cendrillon (Alix le Saux) and her depressed Prince, the ardent mezzo-soprano Eleonore Pancrazi, does magic emerge from the muddle.

Le Saux and Pancrazi convince us with their fresh, characterful singing that they are two lonely teenagers who have found their soulmate. Their mystical consummation comes in Act III, when the Fairy Godmother transports them to an enchanted forest (...) and the two women’s voices vibrate with erotic promise. »

« The French mezzo-soprano Alix Le Saux makes an engagingly spirited heroine – her soft-grained timbre blending beautifully with that of Eléonore Pancrazi as the prince in their palpitating love duets. »

« The singing is similarly glittering, with Glyndebourne debutants Alix le Saux as Cinderella and Eléonore Pancrazi as Prince Charming both (...) absolutely right as the forlorn, dreamy girl and her besotted suitor. »

“Alix Le Saux makes a winning Cendrillon, beautifully matched by her prince, Eléonore Pancrazi – their extended love duet is a particularly precious moment. “

« Witton makes for a graceful central character, who has a natural chemistry with Elénore Pancrazi’s Prince which is particularly evident during their extended love duet and makes for a touching moment. »

« Shaw herself plays confidently with the en travesti ambiguities, suggesting that Eléonore Pancrazi’s Prince Charming is not so much feminine in manner, as female in fact. (...) And, Shaw’s gender games are subtly played - until, that is, the Prince morphs into a serving-maid.

The wondrous vision of Cinderella in costume designer Nicky Gillibrand’s sumptuous ultramarine confection sends the Prince’s melancholy swiftly packing, and the similarity of the range and timbre of Le Saux and Pancrazi - the latter’s relaxed, supple phrasing was a real joy - made this marriage of minds, souls and voices utterly convincing. If the lightness of the two principals’ voices evoked their innocence, or even immaturity, then their Act 3 duet conjured an almost Straussian ardour. Le Saux and Pancrazi really did make us believe that they are destined to live happily ever after. »

« Eléonore Pancrazi takes us effortlessly into his rôle-seeking teenage world where the boundaries between everyday reality (even for royalty) and scarce-perceived yearning extend yet crumble. »

« The Prince is played with great charm by Mezzo Soprano Eléonore Pancrazi »

« Each and every character, from Lucette/Cendrillon herself to one of the many ladies in waiting, was exquisitely played. (...) 

From the stage design to the costume, the orchestra to the singing itself, everything was impeccable. (...) 

All the songs were amazing, but the Prince’s (Eléonore Pancrazi) duet with Lucette (Jennie Witton) was at once beautiful (...) the pair joyfully sang when they could finally see one another again, before falling asleep together. »

“And there were two excellent French mezzos as Cendrillon and the Prince - Alix le Saux and Eléonore Pancrazi. “

« It would certainly be worth it, because much of the centre of the piece was genuinely touching, thanks to the performances of the mezzos Alix Le Saux (Cendrillon) and Éléonore Pancrazi (Prince Charmant) and to the way in which they slowly but surely discovered each other; Shaw’s more-than-suggestion that the Prince is in reality a Princess (or perhaps a serving-girl) was delicately and indeed intimately movingly sketched in. Their two perfectly matched voices were used with consistent sensitivity. »

Opera Magazine uk 

« What is in no doubt, however, is the beauty of Massenet’s music and the quality of the performances in this production. In particular, the scenes involving Cinderella, performed by Alix Le Saux, and the prince (Elénore Pancrazi) are sung with conviction and tenderness. »

« Pancrazi is wonderful as Prince Charming, and her parallel appearance as a maid and confidante to Cinderella in Pandolfe's household suggests a dimension of gender fluidity, adding yet another layer of duality, metamorphosis and contrast to the production. »

« and Alix Le Saux makes a successful Cendrillon, fantastically matched by means of her prince, Eléonore Pancrazi – their prolonged love duet is a specifically valuable second. »

« In the breeches role of Prince Charming, Eléonore Pancrazi makes the emotional journey from an indolent and depressed teenager to a confident noble, from being sick with love to being charged with love; (...) 

Pancrazi’s soprano dramatico has a brooding colour lower in the range. (Massenet calls for a “falcon soprano”, singing in the style of Cornélie Falcon, a contemporary French soprano who sang at l’Opéra in Paris.) When their voices intermingle beautifully in their pulsating love duets, we know that the two lonely adolescents are totally stricken. The duet in the magical bower is accompanied by the chorus and a harp in the wings, an exhilarating ethereal sound that thrills with enchantment. »

« Alix Le Saux and Eléonore Pancrazi are convincingly youthful as Cendrillon and the Prince as they perform with heart and passion. »

« There was beautiful interplay between the main female voices with Alix Le Saux (...) and Éléonore Pancrazi as Prince Charming. »

« And there are superbly sung portrayals here, notably from Alix Le Saux as Cinderella, Eleonore Pancrazi as her puzzled Prince (...) »

Eléonore Pancrazi