Notes and Editorial Reviews
Arthaus presents Rossini’s popular comic opera, La Cenerentola, in a staging from the opera house in Naples. The operatic re-telling of this much loved fairy-tale centres on Cinderella’s honesty and integrity, and on her willingness to forgive others, and to encourage those around her to be equally tolerant.
Instead of the working of magic and fairy godmothers, the opera offers a moral message, encapsulated in its subtitle: ‘goodness triumphant’. Angelina (the Cinderella or Cenerentola) has a stepfather (Don Magnifico), and the traditional Fairy Godmother is replaced by Alidoro, who is a Philosopher and former Tutor to the Prince. Don Magnifico's spoilt and vain daughters are Clorinda and Tisbe, who are very selfish and
self-absorbed. Prince Ramiro and his valet, Dandini, change places so that the Prince can find a bride who will love him for himself, and not for his social status. Matching bracelets replace the traditional glass slipper as the means by which the Prince finds Cenerentola.
Paul Curran’s production, originally created for Naples in 2004, and presented to rapturous acclaim in Genoa in May 2006, finds a rather unusual setting for this moral tale. He sets the story in the year 1912, in his own words, ‘because I wanted to draw attention to social conflicts, and this was a period when class differences were very real’. The setting inspires some Art nouveau imagery in Pasquale Grossi’s set designs, while Zaira De Vincentiis’s costumes evoke both an elegant sophistication for the prince and Cinderella and a comic exaggeration on the sides of Don Magnifico and his daughters.
The 20th century setting works well as the social differences become immediately palpable for modern audiences, lending the main theme of forgiveness and reconciliation even more prominence. However, the comic side of the opera does not go missing and the clown-like choreographies for the duets, trios etc. dramatises the absurdities of the “bad” characters’ behaviour.
Making his operatic début in Genoa with this production, conductor Renato Palumbo – recently appointed Artistic Director for the Deutsche Oper Berlin – used Alberto Zedda’s critical edition of Rossini’s work. He was praised in the Italian press for his ‘rapid, clearly-defined interpretation of the score’, ‘rhythmically precise and fluidly lyrical at the same time’.
A cast of young but established singers is led by Sonia Ganassi, who, since her début as Rosina in The Barber of Seville in Rome, has developed a reputation as a leading exponent of Rossini’s self-possessed mezzo heroines. La Repubblica found her singing ‘mature and authoritative, with some quite wonderful moments (the great finale “Non più mesta”, for example)’, while the singing of Sicilian tenor Antonino Siragusa as Don Ramiro was described as ‘limpid and technically flawless’. The buffo bass Alfonso Antoniozzi made ‘a tremendous Don Magnifico, dominating the stage with a lively and genial performance’, and there were special words for Marco Vinco’s ‘brilliant, playful and vocally solid Dandini’.
Cenerentola – Sonia Ganassi
Don Ramiro – Antonino Siragusa
Don Magnifico – Alfonso Antoniozzi
Clorinda – Carla Di Censo
Tisbe – Paola Gardina
Dandini – Marco Vinco
Alidoro – Simon Orfila
Teatro Carlo Felice Chorus and Orchestra
(chorus master: Ciro Visco)
Renato Palumbo, conductor
Paul Curran, stage director
Pasquale Grossi, set designer
Zaira De Vincentiis, costume designer
Claudio Schmid, lighting designer
Recorded live from the Teatro Carlo Felice, Genoa, 2006
Picture format: NTSC 16:9
Sound format: PCM Stereo / Dolby Digital 5.1 / DTS 5.1
Region code: 0 (worldwide)
Subtitles: Italian, English, German, French, Spanish
Running time: 169 mins
No. of DVDs: 2 (DVD 9 + DVD 5) Read less
Works on This Recording
La Cenerentola by Gioachino Rossini
Antonino Siragusa (Tenor),
Marco Vinco (Bass),
Paola Gardina (Mezzo Soprano),
Sonia Ganassi (Mezzo Soprano),
Carla Di Censo (Soprano),
Alfonso Antoniozzi (Baritone),
Simón Orfila (Baritone)
Genoa Teatro del Carlo Felice Chorus,
Genoa Teatro del Carlo Felice Orchestra
Written: 1817; Italy
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