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Peter Maxwell Davies

Publisher: Chester Music

Cinderella (1980)
Text Writer
Peter Maxwell Davies
Chester Music Ltd
Music for Young Performers
Year Composed
50 Minutes
11 vocal soloists (SA)
English, German, Norwegian
Solo Instrument(s)
11 vocal soloists (SA)

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Programme Note
Peter Maxwell Davies Cinderella (1980)
This short opera (duration of 50 minutes), aptly designed for children to perform with modest resources, is a version of the familiar tale, though with certain adaptations. Cinderella is an au pair girl who arrives on the scene by train, and there are three ugly sisters who get their just deserts in marriage to the appalling leaders of the armed forces. Writing for children in the Orkney Islands, Davies has also included some local references: these can be changed to suit other times and places. Musically the piece is a bright sequence of little songs, choruses, dialogue scenes and dances, probably best suited to children between the ages of eight and twelve, though the parts of the ugly sisters can usefully be taken by boys with broken voices.

Read about this work at

CINDERELLA was written for the fourth St Magnus Festival in 1980 and the first performances were given by children in Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands. All the children involved in these performances were non-specialist and had shown no unusual interest in or aptitude for music. CINDERELLA is within the capability of any school.


“Cinderella, an au pair girl, arrives by train to join Widow Grumble’s household. Tormented by the three ugly sisters, Medusa, Hecate and Dragonia, Cinderella’s only friend is the cat, who, together with her kittens, arranges that Cinderella loses her as midnight strikes, and then rediscovers and marries her in the traditional happy ending which also sees the ugly sisters married to the three commanders-in-Chief of the Prince’s armed services”.

The music is scored for an orchestra of recorders, trumpet, percussion, strings and keyboard, and ranges through a variety of styles. The opera has eleven solo parts and a chorus who act as a train, ball guests and the magic kittens. It is also suitable for performance by children aged eight and upwards.

Vocal Score
Set of instrumental parts

Preview the score

  • 13 MAR 2017
    Teatro Verdi, Sassari, Italy
    Cooperativa Teatro Musica

    Other Dates:
    14 March - Teatro Verdi, Sassari, Italy
  • 17 JUN 2016
    Perchtoldsdorf, Austria
    Kammerorchester der Franz Schmidt-Musikschule
    Schülerinnen und Schüler der Gesangsklassen Isabella Zach, Eva Kumpfmüller und Helmut Simmer; Anthony Jenner, conductor

    Other Dates:
    18,19 June - Perchtoldsdorf, Austria
  • 13 AUG 2014
    Cromarty, Scotland
    Edward Caswell, conductor

    Other Dates:
    14,15 August - Cromarty, Scotland
  • 08 MAR 2014
    Holstebro, Denmark
    Operaen i midten

    Other Dates:
    1 April -
  • 14 JUN 2013
    Conservatory of Torrent, Valencia; Spain
    Conservatory of Torrent Orchestra
    Juan Pablo Hellin, conductor

    Other Dates:
    18 June - Conservatory of Torrent, Valencia; Spain
  • 17 SEP 2012
    Trondheim Chamber Music Festival
    Frimuerlogen, Trondheim
    Norwegian National Opera & Ballet

    Other Dates:
    19,18 September - Olavshallen, Trondheim
  • 03 JUL 2012
    Dortmund, Germany
    Theater Dortmund

    Other Dates:
    4 July - Dortmund, Germany
  • 07 AUG 2011
    Crested Butte Music Festival
    Crested Butte, CO
  • 19 JUN 2011
    Düsseldorf, Germany
  • 12 NOV 2010
    Norwegian Opera House, Oslo, Norway
    Oslo School of Music and Culture
    Steffen Kammler, conductor

    Other Dates:
    13-15,17,18 November - Norwegian Opera House, Oslo, Norway
  • 01 JUN 2010
    Frankfurt, Germany
    Theatre Frankfurt
  • 24 APR 2008
    Andreas Kirche, Bergisch-Gladbach, Germany
    Evangelische Kirche in Altenberg, Odenthal

    Other Dates:
    28 April - Martin -Luther-Haus, Alternberg, Germany
  • 29 SEP 2006
    Teatro Francisco Rabal, Pinto, Spain
    Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

    Other Dates:
    30 September - Teatro Francisco Rabal, Pinto, Spain
    7 October - Teatro Federico Garcia Lorca, Getafe, Spain
    18 November - Teatro Cervantes, Linares, Spain
    2 December - Auditorio Padre Soler de la Universidad Carlos 111 de Madrid, Leganes, Spain
    3 December - Auditorio Padre Soler de la Universidad Carlos 11 de Madrid, Leganes, Spain
    15 December - Auditorio Municipal de Puertollano, Puertollano, Spain
    23 December - Teatro Francisco de Rojas, Toledo, Spain
    27 December - Teatro Palenque, Talavera, Spain
    29 December - Teatro Quijano, Ciudad Real, Spain
  • 02 JUN 2006
    Utrecht, Holland
    Kathedrale Koorschool Utrecht
    Beemster, conductor

    Other Dates:
    6-8 June - Utrecht, Holland
  • 25 MAR 2006
    Theater Freiburg, Germany
    Städtische Bühnen Freiburg

    Other Dates:
    26-31 March; 1 April - Theater Freiburg, Germany
  • 08 JUN 2005

    Other Dates:
    9,10 June - Konstanz
  • 08 JUN 2005

    Other Dates:
    9 June - Konstanz
    10 June - Konstanz
  • 02 APR 2005

    Other Dates:
    3,7-10 April - Hannover
  • 30 OCT 2004
    Hanover, Germany
    Children's choir of the Staatsoper Hanover / children's orchestra of Hanover Music School

    Other Dates:
    31 October; 3,5 November - Hanover, Germany
  • 03 APR 2004
    Til-Studionbühne, Giessen, Germany
    Stadttheater Children's Choir
    Martin Gärtner, conductor

    Other Dates:
    4,18 April; 23,31 May; 10 June - Til-Studionbühne, Giessen, Germany
  • 03 APR 2004
    Theaterstudio am Löbershof, Gießen, Germany
    Stadttheater Gießen
  • 31 MAY 2003
    Theatre Kassel, Germany

    Other Dates:
    8,15,19 June - Theatre Kassel, Germany
  • 29 MAR 2003
    Ten Days on the Island Festival
    Hobart, Tasmania
    Bel Canto Young Opera
    Myer Fredman, conductor
  • 02 FEB 2003
    Hamburg, Germany
    Kampnagel and Hamburgisches Staatsoper

    Other Dates:
    4,6,8,9,11,13,15,16,20,22,23,28 February - Hamburg, Germany
  • 04 AUG 2001
    Santa Ana, California
    Opera Pacific

    Other Dates:
    5 August - Santa Ana, California
  • 26 JUN 2001
    St Magnus Festival
    Kirkwall, Orkney, Scotland
    Pupils from Papdale Primary School and Kirkwall Grammar School

    Other Dates:
    27 June - Kirkwall, Orkney, Scotland

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