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In the elegant art-deco production by Patrice Caurier and Moshe Leiser of Rossini's Cinderella, live from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the sisters Clorinda and Thisbe are unkind rather than ugly, their father Don Magnifico is a touch too keen on his wine, and the suave Alidoro, tutortothe Prince Don Ramiro , is more a subtle manipulator than fairy godmother. But Angelina (Cinderella) still has to escape the housework to reach the ball. With confusion provided by Don Ramiro 's valet, Dandini, who swaps roles with his master in the cause of finding true love, the opera drives with dazzling musical display to its happy ending. Presented by Christopher Cook.
Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, conductor Evelino Pido
9.05 Twenty Minutes
Piers Burton-Page looks at the enduring fascination of the Cinderella story and the way it has been interpreted by composers.
9.25 Act 2
Cinderella gets the full Italian operatic treatment in Rossini's version of the classic rags-to-riches fairy-tale romance
Opera on 3
Rossini's La Cenerentola is not his most popular work but it is a marvellously engaging opera that tells a touching story. Pushed for subject matter for this rush commission, the composer turned to Charles Perrault's French version of the Cinderella story-as the creators of the British panto favourite and Walt Disney were to do later. Yet for all that, it slightly twists the familiar tale, with the callous Don Magnifico as Cinderella's stepfather and the Prince's servant Dandini standing in for a fairy godmother. But it's the depiction of the lovers that pushes this opera beyond light comedy and gives it some power. La Cenerentola/Angelina develops from a shy, young girl into a heroic figure, while the prince, Don Ramiro. ups the intensity of their relationship with his show-stopping aria in the second act.
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Feedback about Opera on 3: La Cenerentola, BBC Radio 3, 19.25, 23 January 2003
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