Saturday, May 09, 2015 – Thursday, May 21, 2015
Rossini’s retelling of the Cinderella story adds a few twists in a whimsical production featuring two mezzo-sopranos alternating in the title role: Isabel Leonard, the 2013 Richard Tucker Award winner, and Tara Erraught, making her U.S. debut.
GIOACHINO ROSSINI’s Cinderella (1817) (La cenerentola)
Libretto by Jacopo Ferretti, after Cendrillon by Charles Perrault
A co-production of Houston Grand Opera Association, Welsh National Opera, Gran Teatre del Liceu, and Grand Théâtre de Genève
“Imaginative, fast-paced, irresistibly funny… a show that will entrance the whole family”–The Seattle Times
Rossini’s popular retelling of Charles Perrault’s beloved Cinderella story adds a few fabulous twists to the traditional fairy tale, a perfect springtime treat for the entire family. In this bright and whimsical production by Spanish director Joan Font and his performance troupe Els Comediants, a kindhearted girl named Angelina dreams of one day escaping her impoverished stepfather’s castle. When the prince announces he’ll choose his bride at a glamorous ball, she seizes the opportunity to escape the tyranny of her vain stepsisters and take control of her own destiny. Audiences of all ages will delight in this clever romantic comedy featuring bracelets instead of glass slippers, a philosophical tutor in place of a fairy godmother, and six adorable dancing rats that serve as a makeshift Greek chorus. Considered one of his finest vocal works, Rossini’s opera glows with captivating bel canto singing and ornate ensemble passages performed by a thrilling cast of young talents, including American mezzo-soprano and 2013 Richard Tucker Award winner Isabel Leonard alternating in the title role with celebrated Irish mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught in her U.S. debut.
Gifted conductor Speranza Scappucci makes her WNO debut leading the orchestra in a “marvelously perfect show” (Los Angeles Daily News) that has enchanted audiences from Seattle to Toronto to Barcelona with its witty characterizations, rainbow-bright costumes, and rags-to-riches ending that celebrates the power of love and forgiveness.
Isabel Leonard is “a rising young mezzo with a radiant, bell-like voice and a captivating sense of drama…What a voice it is– supple, perfectly controlled, capable of great power, but with a lilt, purity and expressive warmth.” –The Washington Post
Tara Erraught,”a bright star in her guild…has some of the cleanest coloratura in the game, an enviably large range, and body language that draws one directly into the mood of each song.” –Opera News
Angelina (Cenerentola): Isabel Leonard* (May 9, 13, 16, 19, 21) / Tara Erraught* (May 11, 15, 17m)
Don Ramiro: Maxim Mironov* (May 9, 13, 16, 19, 21) / David Portillo* (May 11, 15, 17m)
Dandini: Simone Alberghini Don Magnifico: Paolo Bordogna* (May 9, 11, 13, 16, 19, 21) / Valeriano Lanchas^ (May 15, 17m)
Alidoro: Shenyang* Tisbe: Deborah Nansteel**
Clorinda: Jacqueline Echols**
Conductor: Speranza Scappucci*
Director: Joan Font*
Set and Costume Designer: Joan Guillén*
Lighting Designer: Albert Faura*
Choreographer: Xevi Dorca
* * WNO debut ** Current Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist ^ Former Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist
In Italian with projected English titles. Titles may not be visible from the rear of the orchestra.
Performance Timing: Act I – 95 min.; Intermission – 20 min.; Act II – 58 min.
Costumes of these performances