La Cenerentola


Rossini La Cenerentola to libretto by Jacopo Ferretti. Directed 2005 by Sir Peter Hall at Glyndebourne. Stars Ruxandra Donose (Cenerentola), Maxim Mironov (Don Ramiro), Luciano Di Pasquale (Don Magnifico), Simone Alberghini (Dandini), Nathan Berg (Alidoro),  Raquela Sheeran (Clorinda), and Lucia Cirillo (Tisbe). Vladimir Jurowski directs the London Philharmonic Orchestra (Leader Pieter Schoeman) and the Glyndebourne Opera Chorus (Chorus Master Bernand McDonald). Design by Hildegard Bechtler; costumes by Moritz Junge; lighting by Peter Mumford. Directed for TV by Robin Lough. Released  2008, disc has 5.0 PCM audio. Grade: A

Rossini wrote La Cenerentola, or ‎ Cinderella, in 1817; ‎ Karl Marx was born the next year. This is an adult (and highly proper) version of the fairy tale: there's no magic, the story begins as broad comedy, the Fairy Godmother appears as an enlightened philosopher, and we end with a heaping tablespoon of adult moralizing. Nor is this kid stuff musically: this is bel canto with everybody singing in full coloratura mode. This production is pretty much beyond any criticism. The comic characters are hilariously lovable, the serious characters are noble without being too stuffy, and they can all sing ably in Italian faster than a speeding bullet. Jurowski rocks. The traditional direction, sets, costumes, and lighting work admirably at cozy Glyndebourne. The sound and video are excellent for the time when this was shot and released.

In the December 2018 Gramophone, pages 140-145 (10 years after subject title was released) Richard Osborne reviewed exhaustively all the records then available in any format of Rossini’s Cenerentola. He concludes that subject title is the the best recording ever of this ever! Here’s Osborne’s conclusion: “With its period setting and naturalistic style, Peter Hall’s classic 2005 staging catches the darkness of the opera, yet such is the production’s truthfulness to character and detail, the lights shine out all the more brightly when the web is finally untangled and goodness prevails.”

Here are a couple of nice clips showing how worthy this production is: