Design Process

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The design and directing team jettisoned the 17th C fairy-tale setting, as written, and updated the world of Cendrillon to a 1960’s Parisian film studio in the thrall of the La Nouvelle Vague movement exemplified by François Truffaut’s 1962 New Wave classic film about youthful exuberance and changing social mores, Jules et Jim.

For the design and directing team the challenge was how to merge a French fairy tale opera with 1960’s avant garde film making without confusing an audience familiar with the Disney archetype. For example, who is who and when are the unfolding events “reality” or movie magic? The opera was sung in French with built in plot twists so overlaying the film making conceit was a risk we were willing to take. The production was conceptually engaging and visually arresting. C’est la vie!


"I have worked with Tom for ten years now and he is one of my favorite fellow travelers. He is a wonderful set designer with a fine sense of art, architecture combined with an a great sense of story telling and an open mind." — Robin Guarino, Director



By: Massenet & Cain
Conductor: Mark Gibson
Director: Robin Guarino
Venue: College-Conservatory of Music/ CCM
Scenic Design: Thomas C. Umfrid
Lighting Designer: Erik McCandless
Costume Designer: Maria Lenn
Hair & Makeup: Shannon Hutchins  
Technical Director: Bret Palvovich
Scenic Design Assistants: Karloyn Hasselfeld & Theron Wineinger
Stage Manager: Nicki Berger
Photographers: Mark Lyons & Zeek Creative