La Cenerentola, Rossini, Welsh National Opera

My second visit to the opera and what a wonderful evening.
From the moment the orchestra under WNO Music Director Tomas Hanus played thefirst note, the pace and light hearted atmosphere was established. As the delicate organza curtain lifted, the oversized set added to the childhood memories of ‘Cinderella’ as a magical fairy tale. The lighting added to the illusion of the stately home, and who would have guessed that dancing mice would assist with changing scenes, including a dance to unroll a rug! The mice from start to finish were mesmerising, from the smallest movement of a hand to the way they moved down the stairs, was captivating.
Aoife Miskelly, Giorgio Caoduro and Heather Lowe
Tara Erraught
Fabio Capitanucci
Matteo Macchioni
The vibrantly dressed ‘ugly sisters’ Clorinda and Tisbe, sung by Aoife Miskelly and Heather Lowe, dowdy Angelina (Cinderella) and extravagantly dressed prince and valet again added to the almost cartoon like characterisation of the story. Rossini’s take on the traditional story was full of fun, complete with fairy godfather Alidoro sung by Wojtek Gerlach with gravitas and wicked stepdad Don Magnifico sung by Fabio Capitanucci with comedy gusto. All sung with clarity and emotion balanced with funned frivolity. The powerful all male chorus, regimented one moment and perfectly synchronised, provided laugh aloud moments when they staggered onto the stage with a few beers, complete with fancy dress bunny ears and dance moves.
The comic moments came thick and fast, cleverly interwoven with the message of honesty and innocence over material goods and wealth. As the sister battled for the affection of the prince,sung by Matteo Macchioni, an unexpected twist in the plot with Dandini, sung by Giorgio Caoduro, highlighted the superficial nature of many relationships.
Our triumphant Angelina, Tara Erraught, gave her strongest vocal performance ending the opera, accentuating this moral tale how the true magic of truth and kindness wins over dishonesty and greed.
A beautiful performance, made all the more special by those mice!

Further performance at Wales Millennium Centre: Sunday, October 7

Images Jane Hobson

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