Home Theatre Semperoper’s compelling La Cenerentola is effectively served by Michieletto and his design crew – Seen and Heard Worldwide

Semperoper’s compelling La Cenerentola is effectively served by Michieletto and his design crew – Seen and Heard Worldwide

Semperoper’s compelling La Cenerentola is effectively served by Michieletto and his design crew – Seen and Heard Worldwide


GermanyGermany Rossini, La Cenerentola: Sächsische Staatsopernchor, Staatskapelle Dresden / Alessandro De Marchi (conductor). Semperoper, Dresden, 4.6.2023. (MC)

Semperoper Dresden’s La Cenerentola © Ludwig Olah

Stage director – Damiano Michieletto
Assistant director – Eleonora Gravagnola
Set design – Paolo Fantin
Costume design – Agostino Cavalca
Lighting design – Alessandro Carletti
Video design – rocafilm
Choreography – Chiara Vecchi
Dramaturgy – Juliane Schunke
Refrain grasp – Jonathan Becker

Angelina (Cenerentola / Cinderella) – Elena Maximova
Don Ramiro (Prince) – Levy Sekgapane
Don Magnifico – Maurizio Muraro
Dandini – Edward Nelson
Alidoro – Chao Deng
Clorinda – Alice Rossi
Tisbe – Justyna Ołów

At Semperoper I’ve now seen two completely different productions of Rossini’s La Cenerentola. In 2013 the Steffen Piontek’s staging that I described as ‘Fairly enchanting… I can’t think about anybody leaving the Semperoper not feeling entertained and uplifted.’ Now this Damiano Michieletto manufacturing that was first staged at Salzburg Pageant in 2014 with celebrated mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli as Cenerentola (Angelina). With this Semperoper manufacturing of La Cenerentola Michieletto marked his home debut in June 2021.

Rossini had skilled nice success with Il barbiere di Siviglia (1816) an undoubted comedy masterwork. Reacting to the unquenchable demand for his operas Rossini pulled out all of the stops and in some three weeks he accomplished La Cenerentola that he described as a dramma giocoso. Premiered at Rome in 1817 La Cenerentola was his twentieth opera, and he was nonetheless solely twenty-five.

I suppose most individuals know the much-loved Cinderella fairy story via the works by Charles Perrault and the Brothers Grimm, and possibly additionally Walt Disney’s American animated movie Cinderella (1950) with a remake in 2015. Rossini’s librettist for La Ceneretola was Jacopo Ferretti who for his storyline remodelled variants of the kids’s fairytale Cinderella. Ferretti’s libretto shows a merciless aspect of the human situation with redemptive qualities relatively than outright comedy. The ugly sisters have develop into spiteful and bickering stepsisters Clorinda and Tisbe however there isn’t a evil stepmother, as a substitute the eponymous heroine Cenerentola (Angelina) has a depraved stepfather the money strapped Don Magnifico. Instead of the Fairy Godmother there’s Alidoro, a thinker and tutor to Don Ramiro. Absent is the pumpkin coach pulled by mice, and there’s no glass slipper for Cenerentola to strive on both. Now there’s considered one of a pair of bracelets, worn by Cenerentola so Prince Ramiro can recognise her.

Regardless of all of the alterations from the extra generally encountered conventional staging there was one thing about witnessing the injustice in opposition to Cenerentola in designer Paolo Fantin’s disparate setting that I responded to. It wasn’t lengthy earlier than I used to be captivated by the manufacturing hook, line and sinker. Because the curtain opened, I admit that originally my coronary heart sank as I regarded on the modern set that appeared ordinariness personified. Micheletto’s design crew had not reinstated something fairytale-like right here. Fantin modified Don Magnifico’s residence right into a tired-looking canteen full with a staircase to the balcony. There was a serving counter, tables and chairs, trays for self-service and a money register operated by Magnifico who had a curious pink-rinse coiffure. Cenerentola was diligently cleansing while singing of her dream to marry a wealthy prince. In the meantime her good-for-nothing stepsisters Clorinda and Tisbe loafed about till deciding to steal the meagre takings from the canteen until, to fund a buying spree.

Costume designer Agostino Cavalca had the characters carrying on a regular basis garments. Cenerentola’s workwear was a light-weight blue tabard, Clorinda wore a pink velour tracksuit and Tisbe a mustard trench coat with multi-coloured leggings and crimson trainers. Impersonating his valet, Prince Ramiro was casually wearing blue denim denims, t-shirt, inexperienced jacket, and gray baseball cap. Carrying a white go well with Alidoro walked slowly across the set observing occasions. Disguised as his grasp Prince Ramiro, valet Dandini wore a royal blue three-piece go well with and trilby hat.

Semperoper Dresden’s La Cenerentola © Ludwig Olah

Within the second act the room at Prince Ramiro’s palace was designed by Fantin as a luxurious house with a staircase to the balcony. The house has plush, low sofas, a cocktail bar and a wall adorned with a big trendy portray. Because the curtain rose, I admit to initially pondering the house set was an evening membership. Elegantly dressed by Cavalca, noticeably the lads had good lounge fits, Alidoro a costume go well with and Cenerentola wore a putting off the shoulder night costume in crimson with heels and jewelry. Later Magnifico regarded majestic strutting round wearing a crown and crimson velvet cape with a thick ermine collar and holding a scepter.

Definitely, Fantin is a proficient designer and for Act II the dormant Act I canteen set was now fitted on prime of the house set. I did discover the 4 canteen tables hanging on wires from the above canteen set but in fact there was nothing too distracting to fret about. Of probably the most incident crammed and amusing episodes conspicuous was the shock of a saloon automobile smashing via the canteen wall. White suited Alidoro wrapped cling movie round his different six protagonists and putting too had been the video projections of volleys of arrows flashing throughout the scene.

Excelling within the position Russian mezzo-soprano Elena Maximova made a stoic and compassionate Cenerentola (Angelina) who regardless of such disadvantages by no means loses sight of her desires. Cenerentola’s dream aria Una volta c’period un re the place she fantasises about being chosen by a king as his bride was sung from the center by Maximova. On the conclusion of the opera Cenerentola marries her Prince. Wearing marriage ceremony costume and tiara Maximova delivered Cenerentola’s good coloratura aria Nacqui all’affanno… Non più mesta had an ample appeal that delighted the viewers.

Italian bass Maurizio Muraro was a hit within the position of Don Magnifico. Standing out was Magnifico’s Act I cavatina Miei rampolli femminini the place he desires of his daughters Clorinda and Tisbe marrying males of wealth and excessive standing. Revealing his spectacular robust, low tone Muraro projected his voice with relative ease. Flourishing within the position of Don Ramiro, the Prince of Salerno, was South-African tenor Levy Sekgapane a bell canto specialist, and a brand new title to me. With Prince Ramiro’s substantial Act II aria Sì, ritrovarla io giuro, with Cenerentola’s bracelet in hand, he sang how pushed by love he swears to search out her once more. Utilizing his vibrant voice fairly superbly Sekgapane gave a delightfully virtuosic show of coloratura that was my highpoint of the night.

Making his home debut American lyric baritone Edward Nelson sang the position of valet Dandini. In disguise, Dandini in his Act I cavatina with refrain Come un’ape ne’giorni d’aprile reveals how regardless of his endeavours he can’t discover a spouse. Nelson has a powerful voice that carries effectively, and I loved his coloratura though his stage presence may need been bolder. There was a constructive efficiency by Chinese language bass-baritone Chao Deng on his position debut as Alidoro. Taking off his beggar garments Alidoro reveals his actual id to Cenerentola and with Là del ciel nell’arcano profondo from Act I he tells Cenerentola he’ll take her to the ball and the way her compassion shall be rewarded.

Because the feckless daughters of Magnifico there have been promising performances from Alice Rossi and Justyna Ołów, each members of the Younger Ensemble of the Semperoper Dresden. Italian soprano Rossi did effectively within the position of elder sister Clorinda and Polish mezzo-soprano Ołów on her position debut as youthful sister Tisbe displayed her healthful voice that she projected with out an excessive amount of issue. Such a flexible orchestra, the Staatskapelle Dresden responded admirably to conductor Alessandro De Marchi with vigorous and alert enjoying. Clemens Posselt on fortepiano participant did a positive job accompanying the recitatives. Spectacular too, the Staatsopernchor displayed character and unity.

At Semperoper Rossini’s La Cenerentola is effectively served by Damiano Michieletto and his design crew with a contemporary take that I discovered compelling.

Michael Cookson



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