What to Expect from La Cenerentola
The premise is simple : a young woman denig rated by her own family meets a prince who recognizes her true beauty. Rossini’s operatic version of the Cinderella tale—“Cenerentola” in Italian—is charming, beautiful, touching, and dramatically convincing, propelled by soaring melodies and laced with humor both subtle and broad.
In Western culture, the name Cinderella may bring to mind an animated film or a child’s bedtime reading, but the story is universal across time and continents. Long before the Brothers Grimm and Walt Disney came along, dozens of versions were told in many countries, including a Chinese Cinderella created more than a thousand years ago.
Every interpretation is different, and Rossini’s La Cenerentola is no exception. Surprisingly, it’s not even a fairy tale. The composer and his librettist, Jacopo Ferretti, tell the story without a hint of magic. There are no mice that turn into coachmen, no pumpkin that turns into a coach. There’s no fairy godmother. And as your students will discover, there’s not even the telltale glass slipper.
La Cenerentola is a fable of human nature. Rossini’s humane, realistic approach transcends the work’s fairy-tale roots. The heroine’s transformation is of character, not stereotype. The Prince has genuine reason to fall in love with his mystery date. Above all, this Cinderella is the agent of her own destiny. The Met: Live in HD transmission will introduce your students to all the comedy, pathos, and beauty of Rossini’s work. This guide is designed to enrich their enjoyment of La Cenerentola and to help them look beyond the fun to what proves to be an opera of ideas.