Good effort, a bit lacking in the vocal department
Bernal Jimenez | Gaithersburg, MD United States | 06/21/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This Glyndebourne performance unfortunately suffers from having very stiff competition on DVD. It does rank below the Houston production featuring Bartoli's vocal fireworks, and the delightful Salzburg performance starring Ann Murray. I suspect devout Rossinians like myself will still want to check it out.
Kathleen Kuhlmann as Angelina displays a warm and attractive mezzo in the middle and bottom of her voice. The top, however, almost always thins out, losing color. The same problem afflicts tenor Laurence Dale. Claudio Desderi, the best actor, provides a funny and well-sung Magnifico, though he has a tendency to bark out his highest notes. The best singing comes from Alberto Rinaldi as Dandini and Roderick Kennedy as Alidoro. The coloratura from all involved is above reproach but it certainly doesn't reach the level we're used to today from the likes of Bartoli, Kasarova, Florez, and others. I think the word "provincial" is over-used but it's the first one that comes to mind when trying to describe the conducting of Donato Renzetti and the playing of his orchestra. I've heard provincial and this is not quite it, but it dangerously approaches it.
The production is quite entertaining and amusing. Staging and costumes are traditional, no tinkering with time and place. I found the sets quite lovely. Just what you'd want to see in a small creative theater like this one. I particularly liked the garden labyrith set at the end of Act I, and the "storm scene" in Act II (which they move up a bit from its original place in the score).
The early-eighties boxed audio sounds more dated than usual, and distortion is likely to occur if you turn the volume up. Video quality is what you'd expect from the time: as good as it gets on DVD considering the source.
All in all, an enjoyable performance in spite of its short-comings. Not a first-choice Cenerentola, true, but not one to be ignored either."
Great DVD with Beautiful singing!!
Cozene Watson | St. Louis, MO USA | 12/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Kathleen Kuhlmann was great in the title role of La Cenerentola!!
Her singing and her ability was absolutely fantastic!! The music was amazing!! I enjoyed this DVD very much. If you are a huge opera fan, you should get this DVD, because it's terrific!!
E. A. Lovitt | Gladwin, MI USA | 07/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When my video tape version of this 1983 Glyndebourne production wore out, I immediately bought the DVD. I didn't want to be without this jewel-box of a Rossini, even though it must be admitted that the step-sisters had to wear false noses in order to make themselves uglier than Cenerentola.
In this production, Clorinda (Marta Taddei) and Tisbe (Laura Zannini) weren't overplayed for cheap laughs, as is usually the case. Mezzo-soprano, Kathleen Kuhlmann kept her mugging to a minimum and was in mellow voice throughout. However, it was the men who really stole the show, especially Alberto Rinaldi as Dandini, the valet-disguised-as-a-prince, who was made up as a dead-ringer for Charles I of England. Rossini's original staging may have been an imaginary Italianate kingdom, but this production takes place in dashing, Cavalier England. The scene where Dandini, disguised as Prince Ramiro, prances into Don Magnifico's run-down castle, complete with horse, hounds, and courtiers, and sings of himself as a bee among the flowers (i.e. the ugly stepsisters) is a comic masterpiece. I had to own the DVD just for this aria ("They look just like their father!")
According to Alan Kendall's "Gioacchino Rossini: The Reluctant Hero," the librettist, Jacopo Ferretti had to substitute a bracelet for Cinderella's slipper in order to keep the Vatican censors from catching a glimpse of forbidden feminine ankle on stage. A windy philosopher is substituted for the charming fairy godmother of Charles Perrault's fairy-tale, and the wicked stepmother is transformed into a bombastic stepfather with a gargantuan appetite for wine, grandchildren, and Italian ices. Otherwise, the libretto will seem very familiar to those of us who have seen the Disney "Cinderella."
For sheer Rossinian comic exuberance, this is the DVD to own, and although no individual voice stands out, the cast sounds well together and the ensembles are lively and completely irresistible. American, Kuhlmann is a good-hearted Cenerentola who saves her coloratura fireworks (borrowed from Count Almaviva's cabaletta at the end of "Il Barbiere di Siviglia") for the finale. Laurence Dale is her dashing prince, disguised as a valet through most of the opera. Roderick Kennedy is an imposing tutor who goes around giving everybody good advice rather in the style of Hamlet's Polonius, although no one bothers to stab him, since this is a comic opera. (His big aria, "Vastro teatro è il mondo" oddly enough, was not composed by Rossini.) Claudio Desderi (Don Magnifico) and Alberto Rinaldi (Dandini) are hysterical, especially in their scene together when Dandini reveals his true identity. There is even a trademark Rossinian storm scene performed as a witty pantomime.
Unless you are searching for that one big voice, this Glyndebourne production has everything a Rossini fan could desire.