OPERA in cinema: Rossini’s LA CENERENTOLA

, | 2012 | 165 Mins | |
Directed by Joan Font

Sunday January 11, 2015

SPECIAL EVENT

$20 General Admission, $18 Member,
$15 child age 14 or younger
Doors Open for admissions 30 min. prior to screening
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Directed by Joan Font

Angelina (Cenerentola) by Joyce DiDonato, Don Ramiro by Juan Diego Flórez, Tisbe by Itxaro Mentxaka, Clorinda by Cristina Obregón, Don Magnifico by Bruno de Simone, Dandini by David Menéndez, Alidoro by Simón Orfila

Presentation

“Catch Joyce DiDonato and Juan Diego Flórez in what may just be definitive performances in Rossini’s enchanting rags-to-riches rendition,” entreated James Sohre in his review of Rossini’s beloved dramma giocoso “La Cenerentola” in Opera Today. This performance from Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu captures all the vocal sparks and dazzle generated by these two phenomenal singers. With his airy, effortless high notes and perfect command of rapid-fire Rossinian parlando, the charismatic Flórez once again proves that he was born to sing Rossini.

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American mezzo Joyce DiDonato is not only a beautiful Angelina and a stunning presence, but also a prodigiously gifted artist who moves with ease and grace from the most delicate pianissimi to the most heartrending outbursts of passion. A noted bel canto singer, Ms. DiDonato won the Metropolitan Opera’s Beverly Sills Award in 2007.

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Coproduced by the Houston Grand Opera, the Welsh National Opera Cardiff and Geneva’s Grand Théâtre in addition to the Liceu, this international undertaking boasts a truly cosmopolitan flair. Conducting the Orchestra of the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Patrick Summers leads “an effervescent reading” (Opera Today) that is fully supported by the rest of the top-notch cast. Director Joan Font and his set and costume designer Joan Guillén keep the audience busy with many lovingly crafted details, including dancers costumed as rats, cheerily colorful costumes and imaginative lighting effects, courtesy of Albert Faura. Light and bubbly, this is Rossini at his finest!

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Synopsis

 Act 1

Clorinda and Tisbe are adorning themselves while Cenerentola works for her stepfather Don Magnifico. A beggar comes calling. Clorinda and Tisbe want to send him away, but Cenerentola shows him kindness. Courtiers arrive to announce that Prince Ramiro is looking for the most beautiful girl in the land to be his bride. Prince Ramiro arrives, disguised as his own valet in order to observe the women without them knowing. He meets Cenerentola and they fall in love on the spot. The stepsisters arrive and fawn gleefully over Dandini (Ramiro’s valet in disguise as the Prince), who invites them to a ball at the Royal palace. At the Palace, Dandini tells Ramiro how stupid and obnoxious the two sisters are. Ramiro is confused since Alidoro had spoken well of one of Magnifico’s daughters. Alidoro announces the arrival of an unknown, lavishly dressed yet veiled, lady.

Act 2

At Ramiro’s palace, Magnifico frets over the unknown woman who threatens the chance for one of his daughters to marry Prince Ramiro. The three leave and Ramiro enters, smitten with the unknown woman who resembles the girl he had met that morning. He conceals himself as Dandini arrives with Cenerentola and tries to court her. She turns Dandini down politely, telling him that she is in love with his valet. Ramiro steps forth and declares his love for her. She then leaves giving him one of a pair of matching bracelets and saying that if he cares for her, he will find her. Ramiro calls his men together to begin searching for her. Meanwhile, Dandini confesses to Don Magnifico that he is really Prince Ramiro’s valet.

At Magnifico’s house, Cenerentola is tending the fire and singing her ballad. Dandini suddenly appears at the door to say that Prince Ramiro’s carriage has overturned outside and brings him into the house. Cenerentola realizes he is Ramiro. He recognizes her bracelet and the couple are reunited. Don Magnifico, Clorinda and Tisbe are furious. Angered by their meanness to Cenerentola, Ramiro threatens to punish them, but Cenerentola asks him to be merciful. As Cenerentola leaves with her prince, Alidoro thanks heaven for the happy outcome.

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