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Rossini: La Cenerentola Reviews

Rossini: La Cenerentola

Gioacchino Rossini’s sparkling version of the Cinderella story comes live from the Salzburg Festival with Ann Murray and Francisco Araiza as Cinderella and the Prince. Director Michael Hampe envisions La Cenerentola less as a fairy tale and more as a gently satirical comment on the nature of society and the relationship between people. Conductor Riccardo Chailly’s masterly display of the Rossini style is visually matched by the opulent and elegant set designs by Mauro Pagano. 162 minutes.

Don Ramiro: Francisco Araiza
Dandini: Gino Quilico
Don Magnifico: Walter Berry
Angelina: Ann Murray
Alidoro: Wolfgang Schoene
Clorinda: Angela Denning
The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus of the Vienna State Opera, conduted by Riccardo ChaillyRossini’s treatment of the Cinderella story discards the magic elements and makes it a morality tale–no fairy godmother, pumpkin coach, or glass slipper, but a sweet, intelligent heroine, abused by a dysfunctional family, who triumphs over adversity. She meets and marries her Prince Charming as a just reward for her simple, spontaneous virtue, a plot that could easily become banal but doesn’t. This simple tale becomes a great evening’s entertainment thanks to Rossini’s music–glittering, bubbly, rich in wit and pathos–and the hilarious imagination of librettist Jacopo Ferretti.

La Cenerentola makes virtuoso musical demands in the romantic lead roles of Angelina (Cinderella) and the Prince, and it calls for carefully controlled comic skills in the supporting cast, particularly the mean stepfather and stepsisters and the valet, Dandini, who masquerades as the Prince through most of the plot. All those requirements are well fulfilled in this 1988 production. Ann Murray is an appealing and believable Angelina–not easy with a character almost too good to be true. Francisco Araiza’s tenor voice soars in the Prince’s arias. Walter Berry is brilliant as the oafish stepfather, Don Magnifico, nearly stealing the show at a couple of points. The sisters are deftly portrayed by Angela Denning and Daphne Evangelistos.

A special elegance associated with the Salzburg Festival is well-exemplified in all aspects of this Cenerentola, including Mauro Pagano’s staging, Michael Hampe’s directing, and Riccardo Chailly’s conducting of the great Vienna Philharmonic. –Joe McLellan

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3 Responses to Rossini: La Cenerentola Reviews

  • Richard Alexanian says:
    14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    No Fairy Godmother Here, August 27, 2001
    By 
    Richard Alexanian (Raynham, MA United States) –
    This review is from: Rossini: La Cenerentola (DVD)
    This is the story of Cinderella with a different twist. A Step father vs a Stepmother. Don Magnifico played by Walter Berry and his two warring daughters/siblings Clorinda And Tisbe. A pair of bracelets rather than glass slippers. Finally, the Prince’s tutor, Alidoro, posing as a beggar to whom Cinderella gives bread. Alidoro will become Ciderella’s angel and advocate. No Fairy Godmother here. Dandini, the counterfeit Prince played by Gino Quilico is a pure delight, pulling of the deception in brilliant fashion. Francisco Araiza as the real Prince whom I have seen in other Opera’s is of magnificent tenor voice along with superb acting. Ann Murray as Cinderella is incomparable, wow what a performance, convincing, heartfelt and purley delightfull in every respect. The themes of forgiveness and respect hit home. Certainly a Five Star rating at Amazon.Com, but a 10 out 10 for performance, visual scenery and the Vienna Philharmonic. Some of my favorite scenes were the Wine Cellar, the Coach ride and Dandi’s interplay with Don Magnifico’s daughters and much much more. Totally delightfull. A must for any collection. Sound Quality A1 Picture Qaulity- Clean and crisp

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  • Mrs. Sunar Tjahjono says:
    9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Overall enchantment and performance., July 26, 2001
    By 
    Mrs. Sunar Tjahjono (Jakarta, Indonesia) –
    We are amazed that this delightful opera, although containing so much similarity to the tunes and music in The Barber of Seville, is not as wellknown and popular. We appreciate that the Vienna State Opera undertake to perform this opera, so that we can enjoy the enchanting music and the sparkling Belcanto which is Rossini’s identity, sung and performed with such excellence and brilliancy by all the singers. Especially tenor Francisco Araiza, which I have seen in different operas, shows in here all his excellence by acting and singing so magnificent and beautifully, accomplishing the character he plays as The Prince. In overall this opera, although not as wellknown as The Barber of Sevilla, is not less enchanting and so delightful which give us so much enjoyment from the beginning to the end, particularly as it is performed with such excellence and beautiful singing and backed by such splendid scenery and colorful background.

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  • Heather Tiemens says:
    15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A whole new perspective on Cinderella!, July 12, 2000
    By 
    Wow! This is one fantastic production of La Cenerentola! The orchestra starts out with Rossini’s finest overture, and the opera only rises in brilliance to the final, spectacular scene. The male lead is extremely good, and of course Cinderella is incomparable. There is some very amusing interplay between the prince and his valet, who have switched places, and a dazzling sextet when Cinderella and the prince finally find each other. The music is absolutely flawless. The stage settings leave a little to be desired, but who cares with this kind of singing? You should absolutely get this!

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