Gioacchino Rossini's sparkling version of the Cinderella story comes live from the Salzburg Festival with Ann Murray and Francisco Araiza as Cinderella and the Prince. Director Michael Hampe envisions La Cenerentola less a... more »s a fairy tale and more as a gently satirical comment on the nature of society and the relationship between people. Conductor Riccardo Chailly's masterly display of the Rossini style is visually matched by the opulent and elegant set designs by Mauro Pagano. 162 minutes. Don Ramiro: Francisco Araiza
Dandini: Gino Quilico
Don Magnifico: Walter Berry
Angelina: Ann Murray
Alidoro: Wolfgang Schoene
Clorinda: Angela Denning
The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus of the Vienna State Opera, conduted by Riccardo Chailly« less
"Wow! This is one fantastic production of La Cenerentola! The orchestra starts out with Rossini's finest overture, and the opera only rises in brilliance to the final, spectacular scene. The male lead is extremely good, and of course Cinderella is incomparable. There is some very amusing interplay between the prince and his valet, who have switched places, and a dazzling sextet when Cinderella and the prince finally find each other. The music is absolutely flawless. The stage settings leave a little to be desired, but who cares with this kind of singing? You should absolutely get this!"
No Fairy Godmother Here
Richard Alexanian | Raynham, MA United States | 08/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the story of Cinderella with a different twist. A Step father vs a Stepmother. Don Magnifico played by Walter Berry and his two warring daughters/siblings Clorinda And Tisbe. A pair of bracelets rather than glass slippers. Finally, the Prince's tutor, Alidoro, posing as a beggar to whom Cinderella gives bread. Alidoro will become Ciderella's angel and advocate. No Fairy Godmother here. Dandini, the counterfeit Prince played by Gino Quilico is a pure delight, pulling of the deception in brilliant fashion. Francisco Araiza as the real Prince whom I have seen in other Opera's is of magnificent tenor voice along with superb acting. Ann Murray as Cinderella is incomparable, wow what a performance, convincing, heartfelt and purley delightfull in every respect. The themes of forgiveness and respect hit home. Certainly a Five Star rating at Amazon.Com, but a 10 out 10 for performance, visual scenery and the Vienna Philharmonic. Some of my favorite scenes were the Wine Cellar, the Coach ride and Dandi's interplay with Don Magnifico's daughters and much much more. Totally delightfull. A must for any collection. Sound Quality A1 Picture Qaulity- Clean and crisp"
Overall enchantment and performance.
Mrs. Sunar Tjahjono | Jakarta, Indonesia | 07/26/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"We are amazed that this delightful opera, although containing so much similarity to the tunes and music in The Barber of Seville, is not as wellknown and popular. We appreciate that the Vienna State Opera undertake to perform this opera, so that we can enjoy the enchanting music and the sparkling Belcanto which is Rossini's identity, sung and performed with such excellence and brilliancy by all the singers. Especially tenor Francisco Araiza, which I have seen in different operas, shows in here all his excellence by acting and singing so magnificent and beautifully, accomplishing the character he plays as The Prince. In overall this opera, although not as wellknown as The Barber of Sevilla, is not less enchanting and so delightful which give us so much enjoyment from the beginning to the end, particularly as it is performed with such excellence and beautiful singing and backed by such splendid scenery and colorful background."
Good Production But Poor Video Quality
David Park | Mt. Airy, Maryland USA | 09/05/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This is a good production of the opera but unfortunately the video quality is poor. Many of the R.M. Arts releases seem to have poor video quality and if I had know it was an R.M. Arts production I wouldn't have bought it."
Patrick Boyle | Oakland, CA USA | 02/07/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is an excellent Cenerentola, not perfect but excellent none the less. Let me go through the singers one by one.
Araiza was one of the world'd best in this sort of role at this period in his career. He has at least three versions on disk. He has beauty of voice, range, color and muscianship.
He has always been criticized for over separating the notes in the passage work. Some hear this as aspirations. He does sing all the notes but some people think he cheats by injecting the little breaths. Bartoli (a Cinderella) is also sometimes criticized for aspirations.
Personally I think its a valid artistic choice. It certainly isn't easier to sing that way. In fact it takes more breath and support to articulate each note even with an aspirate. It certainly is superior to smearing.
Araiza is vastly better than Matteuezzi on the Bartoli CD. I'm very fond of Ugo Benelli in this role but Araiza has much more voice. Gimenez also has less voice and its not as pretty either. My favorite Ramiro is probably Rockwell Blake from the early NY City Opera performance in English. At that time his voice was still beautiful, he was handsom, a super actor, and he interpolated notes above high C.
Ariaza is not very good looking. He acts well enough but he is not very credible as a romantic lover.
Ann Murray is adequate without ever being more. She is also not that attractive. She looks tired. She is not ever bad but she is the least effective of the many fine recorded Cenerentolas. Those include: Bartoli, Baltsa, Larmore, Von Stade, Berganza, etc.
There are three bass parts in Cenerentola: Dandini, Alidoro and Don Magnifico. Many Rossini specialists sing all three bass parts. Simone Alaimo and Alesandro Corbelli on other recordings will sing Dandini as well as Magnifico or Alidoro.
The Dandini here is Gino Quilico and he's wonderful. He's actually funny and dashing and sings very well indeed. Only Alan Titus is his equal on recordings.
Walter Berry is an unusual choice for Magnifico. He is quite nasty and brutal. The original Grimm Brothers tale is very dark and Berry brings some of that out. Often this part is done as a clown which robs the drama of the danger needed for the clemency in the final scene to have some point.
The Alidoro - Schone - on this recording is more of a baritone or bass-baritone rather than the low bass usually heard. On one of the CDs the Alidoro is Ugo Trama with his deep, black voice. of course the trade-off is that Trama can't really sing the notes. Schone gets to do almost all of the great aria "La Del Ceil" and he does a superb job with it. Rossini wrote Cenerentola in only three weeks. He originally gave Alidoro a simpler aria "Vasto Theatro". Later he composed the long and very difficult "La Del Ceil". Most productions cut it because so few basses can sing it. It's good to hear it here. Schone is a bit better than John Del Carlo and not quite as good as Michele Pertusi.
The ugly step sisters are good if not outstanding. No one can match Gianna Rolandi on the NY City recording if only because she gets a huge solo aria not heard elsewhere.
The production is very fine. A nearly monotone unitary set is used throughout. It sounds dull but is in fact elegant. Dandini's entrance is very effective with him sliding in on a big wooden horse.
Cenerentola is best comic opera. Everyone should have at least one recording. This is a good one. Recommended.