Today@Sam Article

SHSU Opera Presents 'Cendrillon' – A Cinderella Story

Nov. 9, 2021
SHSU Media Contact: Emily Binettti

By Jackie Swan

The Sam Houston State University College of Arts & Media, along with the School of Music, present an SHSU Opera performance of Pauline Viardot’s “Cendrillon”, a charming retelling of the beloved Cinderella story. Performances will take place Nov. 18-20 at 7:30 p.m. each evening in the Erica Starr Theatre.

Cendrillon show posterSung in French with English supertitles, “CendrillonA Cinderella Story features an evening of opera that will delight opera lovers of all ages. Directed by Rebecca Renfro, associate professor in the School of Music, the opera features dialogue in three acts with a story following closely to the original timeless tale written by Charles Perrault with a few variations.

“This performance, incidentally, occurs in the 200th birth year of Madame Viardot, and we are pleased to celebrate her memory and formidable talent with the presentation of this little gem of an opera,” Renfro said. “Complete with extravagantly designed ballgowns and all, this enchanting event is the perfect evening out for the whole family." 

SHSU opera students Rina See and Jimmy Paz star as Cendrillon and Prince Charming, along with fellow students Annelise Diaz, Lucianna Astorga, Amanda Ronquillo, Piero Regis, Chandler Peveto and Diana Villa.

The production also features guest artist, and SHSU vocal performance alumnus, Heath Martin and guest conductor Benjamin Brecher. Martin’s past productions include “The Elixir of Love” and “Rappaccini’s Daughter” with the Moores Opera Center. He is currently a member of the Houston Grand Opera Chorus. Brecher has performed in over 50 operatic roles at many of the world’s most prestigious venues and sung with over 40 orchestras spanning from New York to Tel Aviv.

In a truly creative collaborative effort, several departments within the College of Arts & Media – music, dance, theatre and musical theatre – worked together to create a fully staged opera thanks to support from the college’s dean, Ronald E. Shields and Scott Plugge, director of the School of Music.

“The departments worked together on this project with a shared joy and mutual admiration for one another’s talent and craft – this is the ultimate aim of artistic expression,” Renfro said.

Tickets can be reserved through the Box Office website for $12 in advance or $15 on the day of the event. The Erica Starr Theatre is located in the University Theatre Center (1740 Bobby K Marks Drive, Huntsville, TX 77340). For ticket information, please contact the Box Office at 936-294-2339 or email

Pauline Viardot’s “Cendrillon” includes English translation by Rachel M. Harris, orchestrations by Charles Effler and is presented by arrangement with Scena Music Publishing.

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