La Cenerentola, based on Cinderella, opens this weekend at San Jose Opera. Loni takes you behind the scenes.

Opera San Jose

La Cenerentola (Cinderella)
(Nov. 14, 15, 19, 21
22, 24, 27, 29, 2009)

What happens when you take the “bippity-boppity-boo” out of Cinderella? You get something even more magical – Rossini’s enchanting La Cenerentola. This isn’t Rodgers and Hammerstein or Walt Disney – no singing mice, fairy godmother, or glass slippers. There is a charming prince, however, as well as obnoxious stepsisters, a stupid stepfather and a matching pair of diamond bracelets. And everything ends happily in a blaze of glorious coloratura,

The Cinderella in this opera is named Angelina, and she is as kind and gentle and forgiving as her name implies. And because this is a Rossini opera, Angelina and the rest of the cast also possess everlasting energy and exceptional vocal ability. The music is fast, fast, fast, and the action is at full throttle. Practically everyone is in disguise most of the time, all the deception is hilarious, and the patter is never-ending. This is comedy in the fast lane, with dazzling music and vocal pyrotechnics. The Barber of Seville might have made Rossini famous, but it was La Cenerentola that cemented his reputation and made his comic style the world’s favorite.

Clinton Stark
Clinton shoots videos for Stark Insider. San Francisco Bay Area arts, Ingmar Bergman and French New Wave, and chasing the perfect home espresso shot 25 seconds at a time (and failing). Peloton: ClintTheMint. Camera: Video Gear