Sunday, May 11, 2014

Cenorentola, (aka) Cinderella,

This spring did not bring wonderful simulcasts from the Metropolitan Opera for me to see. In fact, I saw only the first act of Rusalka by Dvorak and left bored. I'm truly sorry I missed Prince Igor because of some  scheduling problem.  Yesterday I went to Rossini's Cenorentola, which is his retelling of Cinderella -- much changed, and not for the better.

I cannot understand the popularity of the slow, repetitive, opera. Yes, it has some nice bel canto arias and Joyce DeDonato was very fine and so was Juan Diego Flores.  But the Rossini music sounds like all other Rossini music, repeated and  repeated. The man had only a few tunes in him and a few musical tricks.  He knew it. He was a great hit, wrote himself out and took early retirement on his earnings. Good for him - he could have retired sooner and the opera world would be no worse for it.  I believe The Barber of Seville is THE best comic opera, the story is told  concisely with much confusion  included and wonderful arias for every character. Cenorentola was anything but concise and the design, sort of 1920s with the male chorus all like London bankers made next to no sense.  The comic roles were so overblown I wondered if the sisters and the assinine father were actually having fun being so extreme. A three-legged sofa became a lame joke very quickly.  Our Cinderella's costumes were all terrible except her housemaid's dress.  In short I'm sorry I went. 

Their preview of next season sounds better.

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