Opera is released based on the Cinderella classic and the Mapuche legend La Malen

Cenicienta: magia y leyenda

With script and direction of the actor and director, Felipe Castro the opera Cinderella, Magic and legends joins two works of Chilean composers Pedro Humberto Allende and René Silva. It will be released under the musical direction of Rodolfo Fischer at the Teatro Municipal of Las Condes, together with the orchestra and three choirs of children and young people of Panguipulli



This November 9th at Teatro Municipal of Las Condes is the premiere of Cinderella: Magic and Legends. The opera unites two works of Chilean composers through a theatrical story that confronts two worlds: that of the eyes of a Papai (grandmother in Mapudüngun) and her granddaughter.


The cast is made up of 126 girls, boys and young people who make up the Panguipulli symphony orchestra, Panguipulli Choir, Cantores of the Leonardo Da Vinci School, the SIP Choir and a ballet group of young girls. In addition, they will be accompanied by four professional soloists.


Everything is set in the South of Chile, with a stove, an old lady and a girl full of colors, generating a meeting between different lives, cultures and the current social reality. Through the story of the girl and the story of Pedro Humberto Allende Cinderella (composed in 1948 and that will be released for the first time), we will learn the history of the classic story Cinderella.


In contrast, the grandmother will tell the story of “La Malén” or Mapuche Cinderella (René Silva’s composition based on the Myth of the Skull “) that tells the adventures of a girl who is haunted by her stepmother, making his face in a skull.


“The project involves a youth orchestra of more than 10 years”, recounts the composer René Silva, “they set their goal to do opera and had the idea that it was based on a local idea”. “One day I called Elicura Chihuailaf and asked him if there was a mapuche legend where there was a stepmother and a princess, and he told me about the Kalfu Malén, which is the basis of our story. La Malén is the daughter of a lonko, and her stepmother does a spell that turns her face into a skull. She goes to see a machi who tells her that the only way to nullify the spell is to find the bones of a warrior. On his way he helps animals in trouble, and they tell him where the bones are, “says Silva.


“I’ve been going to Panguipulli for 10 years knowing the Vive la Música program and the release of this work gives me enormous satisfaction, I feel there is a union of gigantic wills that make up a virtuous and unique circle. excellence, and that above is made, nothing more and nothing less, by children, “says Felipe Castro, general director of the work. He insists: “I am happy because there is a great human team, it is very exciting to see children so committed, I have never before seen a local theme, where people talk about volcanoes, forests, magic, with such affection and professionalism. that we will have a brilliant show. “


Tell us a little more about this production, how is the creative and composition process born and developed?
René Silva: I strongly believe in how the energies align when they have to do it and also in how people meet when they should. Everything was a succession of coincidences and good energies that were given since I received the call of Rodolfo Fischer inviting me to participate in this project. Felipe decides to assume the development of the libretto, so with Rodolfo we advise him from the musical and dramatic point of view that an opera requires. Felipe wrote thinking about recitatives, arias, choirs and duets. He wrote the text imagining the music immediately and that was noticed. The text was beautiful and very musical which greatly facilitated that he could finish composing the work within the stipulated period of 3 months. But beyond the deadlines, the same text was calling music. I could easily transfer those lines into sounds, the words suggested melodies and the written scenes lent themselves to put sonorities of forests and nature. I was happy.


It was a period of many hours of work, many dawns writing. Rodolfo was my copyist, so I wrote and sent him the manuscripts. He digitized and sent me the material for review; and meanwhile, I kept writing other scenes. It was a very vertiginous process, but all the time I did it with great affection and enormous joy. I knew that this work would leave an indelible mark on the children who participate in it and in their families. In any case, I never dimensioned until arriving at Panguipulli to the final essays, as this became a true community project. That was beautiful, seeing so many people working around your music. Go figure!


Your work with young people is recognized. What is the value that you assign to the formation and development of new audiences through this type of productions in which the artists are pairs of the audience that attends?
René Silva: About the value of this type of productions, I think about current music education: What do we get out of showing music in schools in a theoretical way? We have to take the children to concerts, that they can see and listen closely to an orchestra, a staging. That they can feel the energy and magic of a show of this kind. Imagine if we also make them part of a collective project! I think that in the long term it becomes much more transcendental since it becomes a significant learning acquired through practice. Over the years, they will never forget it. So, there are the new audiences.


What will we find on stage? Will it be a more current vision of the Mapuche legend or will you take us to the ancestral forests of southern Chile?
Felipe Castro: We will meet with a mystery. The whole south is mysterious and in particular the forests of the river region … Those forests were long before our native peoples and therefore speak for themselves. rené silva had the courage to make a machi sing from the sound of the rivers … he made Malen sing from the depths of the sea … that is what they will see on stage. Pure magic. Mystery.


Where did the idea of ​​contrasting the childhood classic “Cinderella” with the Mapuche legend “Malen” come from? How was the creation of the libretto developed?
Felipe Castro:We had the Cinderella of Peña Hen and the Cinderella of PH Allende. Peña Hen’s family did not let us do their Cinderella and since the turns of life are mysterious someone went crazy (I think it was Maestro Fischer) and proposed to do an opera. You can believe it … an opera is born from a denial! The point is that as this was developed for Panguipulli we looked for something that had to do with Panguipulli. From there by pure chance (and René Silva’s complicity) came the girl of the skull and it happens that it has many coincidences with Cinderella … but what it is not, I repeat: what it is not … is to be a Mapuche Cinderella. It was never the idea. The Malen from its beginning flew with its own wings, the script always flows from the sound of the volcano and not any volcano, it is that volcano; It was never any lake, it was Lake Panguipulli.
From the script, the little birds and little mice follow, but the one that governs is the Loica. The stepmothers continue long, but the one who governs the evil is the Kalku. Those who want to approach the dark side … find out about the kalku … and I recommend not to meet her.


Tell us about the contrast of the theatrical direction with the opera direction? And how does an actor get involved with the lyrical world?
Felipe Castro: For me, the epiphany is only found when the arts come together. The opera is that place. There are no contrasts in the direction.
I always trust the actresses, in this case singers-actresses, they have tools to know how to take a scene from the performance and from the singing. In addition they won the right to be there, they auditioned and we, by the way, were lucky to stay with the best, they are incredible. The four build huge characters.
Before I was born, I already participated in the passion of San Mateo de Bach, my mother (Mary Ann Fones) sang the passion of San Mateo with me for 4 months of gestation. That is the best of the sentences.
I feel and live music from the blood, and sometimes, when all the stars align, I also feel it in my soul. In the Malen that miracle took place.


Tell us about the experience of working with this young composer, was it a joint work?
Rodolfo Fischer: This has been one of the most extraordinary projects in which I have participated. From the first conversation with Pamela Calsow, who was enthusiastic about Peña Hen’s Cinderella, to René’s transmutation in Malen, all the processes have had the dynamics worthy of magical realism.
The refusal of the Peña was transformed into creative energy, which thanks to the harmony between the articulators of the show, managed to excite not only children, but a whole community around art. Finally, I believe that the teacher Peña Hen would be the happiest of all, since the ultimate goal of training through music was more than achieved.
The particularity of having selected René was due to two fundamental factors. He had extensive experience as director of youth orchestras, which assured us a real knowledge of the technical possibilities and limitations of children. And, on the other hand, its closeness to the ethnic theme through numerous creations prior to Malén. What we did not know is that he had enormous potential as an opera composer!


A new production always implies a challenge. How do you think that the development of a new creation can be promoted in Chile?
Rodolfo Fischer: Through leadership like Pamela Calsow, for example. Many cultural managers are obsessed with the idea of ​​creating shows with archived formats, as long as they have a full room. How many more times are we going to schedule Traviata, Carmen and Magic Flute annually? I think that this creation vein has an enormous potential to attract many people to the opera, through the youth orchestras and with formative mission. And by the way, we are giving work to young singers, composers and visual artists who are looking for new alternatives to develop. We professionals have to take charge of opening ourselves to alternative projects such as Panguipulli, since we are relatively few who have had the privilege of setting up operas in large stages. It is our duty to share what we have learned with future generations.


Cinderella, Magic and Legends is possible thanks to the Corporation of Adelanto Amigos de Panguipulli, the Municipal Corporation of Panguipulli and five of its educational establishments, the SIP Schools Network, the Municipal Theater of Las Condes and the National Board of School Aid and Scholarships (JUNAEB).


Municipal Theater of Las Condes.

  • November 9th, 8:00 p.m.
  • November 10th, 8:00 p.m.
  • November 11th, 18 hours

DURATION: 75 minutes without intermediate