By Lynne Gray, PhD
SATURDAY, APRIL 25 | 1PM EDT, 11 AM Reno Time — Please Note DIFFERENT TIME
In its most ambitious effort yet to bring opera to audiences everywhere during the Met’s closure, the company will present an unprecedented virtual At-Home Gala, featuring more than 40 leading artists performing in a live stream from their homes all around the world. The event will be available for free on the Met’s website. General Manager Peter Gelb and Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin will host from their homes in New York City and Montreal, respectively.
After the live showing, the gala will be made available for on demand viewing on the Met website until 6:30 p.m. EDT the following day.
Don’t miss this one — and ENJOY! especially that guy on the top row!
Sunday, April 26 This should be at their regular time, 4:30 PM Reno Time
Rossini’s La Cenerentola ~ 2Hrs and 52Mins
Starring Joyce DiDonato, Juan Diego Flórez, Luca Pisaroni and Alessandro Corbelli conducted by Fabio Luisi. From May 10, 2014.
If you loved DiDonato and Flórez in Rossini’s Le Comte Ory, you will love them again in these slightly more serious, but equally wonderful roles. Joyce DiDonato gives up her Comte Ory trousers for a beautiful Cinderella gown in the title role, and Juan Diego Flórez is, of course, her Prince Charming. Alessandro Corbelli delivers a great comic performance as Don Magnifico, Cinderella’s stepfather. Pietro Spagnoli is Dandini, the Prince’s valet, who, disguised as his master, investigates prospective brides and Luca Pisaroni is the philosopher Alidoro, who takes the place of the fairy godmother in yet another, decidedly non-Disney, fairy tale opera. Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi leads Cesare Lievi’s whimsical production.
Rossini’s Cenerentola (Cinderella), written when he was only 25 years old, dispenses with all the fairytale wishes and magic we are so familiar with, but maintains the wonderful sense of fun and romance in the original French fairytale, Cendrillon by Charles Perrault. Be forewarned, however – there are several role changes here, and many different disguises that are not in the version most of us know.
We begin in the dilapidated palace of Don Magnifico (the comic stepfather who replaces the wicked stepmother) where his daughters, Clorinda and Tisbe are fighting – as usual. Enjoy Don Magnifico’s aria, “Miei rampolli” in which he describes his dream of being turned into a donkey and jumping over the the church while bells chime their joy – a particularly auspicious (and perhaps apt) omen to his way of thinking! We learn that their stepsister, Angelina is now serving as their maid since her mother died, and so they call her “Cenerentola” (Cinderella). As she sings a plaintive tune about a king who marries a common girl, a beggar comes to the door. The stepsisters summarily send him away, but Cenerentola offers him bread and coffee. As it turns out, this “beggar” is Alidoro (literally, wings of gold!) who is the Prince’s tutor and is scouting out potential brides for him. Another knock brings in a group of courtiers who announce that Prince Ramiro will soon make a visit because he is searching for the most beautiful girl in the land to make his bride. He is planning a ball and will choose her there.
Magnifico who, of course, desires only to improve his own fortunes, hopes it will be one of his daughters. Meanwhile, having been told by Alidoro that there is promising young girl in the house, Prince Ramiro enters – disguised as one of his own servants. Cenerentola enters – and this is still enough of a fairytale to provide us with a beautiful ‘love at first sight’ duet. When the Prince asks who she is she cannot tell him and runs away. And now the “Prince” enters – it is his (very) comic valet, Dandini – and Magnifico, Tisbe and Clorinda fall all over each other flattering him. The invitation to the ball is delivered, but when Cenerentola asks to go she is roughly rebuked all around. Noting their cruel treatment of her, the servant (Prince) exits with the Prince (valet). Alidoro, however, returns and tells Cenerentola that he will take her to the ball himself, because God rewards those of good heart.
So — by Act 2 in this switched up tale, we have Cenerentola not caring about the Prince at all, believing that she loves his servant; Magnifico fretting that his daughters are not having any success; the Prince wondering what in the world Alidoro was thinking when he said there was a worthy bride in Magnifico’s house; and Dandini playing the role of “Prince” to the hilt.
You may have faith that since this is an operatic dramma giocoso (comic play), all will be straightened out before the wonderful ‘wedding cake’ ending. The only other twist you might want to look for is that there is no lost glass slipper or searching for dainty feet… there are, however, twin bracelets that serve a similar purpose…. and they all lived happily ever after!
1. Juan Diego Flórez and Joyce DiDonato as Prince Ramiro (in disguise) and Cenerentola in Rossini’s “La Cenerentola” at the Met. Photo Credit: Beth Bergman / Metropolitan Opera.
2. Rachelle Durkin as Clorinda, Alessandro Corbelli as Don Magnifico, and Patricia Risley as Tisbe in Rossini’s “La Cenerentola.” (Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera)
3. Luca Pisaroni as Alidoro and Joyce DiDonato as Cenerentola in Rossini’s “La Cenerentola” at the Met. Photo Credit: Beth Bergman / Metropolitan Opera.
4. Joyce DiDonato with Rachelle Durkin and Patricia Risley in Rossini’s “La Cenerentola” at the Met. Photo Credit: Beth Bergman / Metropolitan Opera.
5. Joyce DiDonato and Juan Diego Flórez in Rossini’s “La Cenerentola” at the Met. Photo Credit: Beth Bergman / Metropolitan Opera.
6. Juan Diego Flórez and Joyce DiDonato as Prince Ramiro and Cenerentola (on their wedding cake!) in Rossini’s “La Cenerentola” at the Met. Photo Credit: Beth Bergman / Metropolitan Opera.