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News - Arts and Culture at MSU



Rossini’s opera, Cinderella (La Cenerentola), takes the stage at MSU

Comic tale, sung in English, accessible to families

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Every girl dreams of her Prince Charming, but who says you need magic to find him? The MSU Opera Theatre and Chamber Orchestra will present Gioacchino Rossini’s Cinderella (La Cenerentola), a realistic variation on the classic fairy tale of a girl who rises from the ashes to wed her prince, on Fri., Nov. 16 and Sat., Nov. 17 at 8 p.m., and Sun., Nov. 18 at 3 p.m. in MSU’s Concert Auditorium.

Directed by Melanie Helton and conducted by Raphael Jimenez, this rollicking comic opera retains many elements from the traditional version of Cinderella. There are wicked stepsisters and a lavish ball where the prince is left unsure of his new love’s identity. However, this is not the fabled Disney adaptation. In Rossini’s opera, the fairy godmother is replaced by a philosopher, and clever disguises help unravel the story without magical aid.

This sparkling tale begins with Cenerentola serving as the family maid for her stepfather, Don Magnifico, and his two daughters. A beggar comes to the residence and while the stepsisters want him to be sent away, Cenerentola offers him nourishment and warmth. Courtiers then arrive to announce the visit of Prince Ramiro, who will be looking for a wife. However, the prince and his valet, Dandini, change places in hopes that the prince can find a bride who will love him for more than his social status. The stepsisters, fawning over the valet posing as the prince, are invited to a ball later that evening. Despite the stepfather’s best efforts, Cenerentola is also secretly invited. At the ball, she falls for the true prince, even though he is disguised as a mere valet.

Sung in English, this is a humorous opera accessible for the family, though not suggested for children under 5 years old. The Sunday matinee will be best suited for families to enjoy this new twist on the classic story of Cinderella. A preview lecture will be held 45 minutes before each performance.

“This family-friendly comedy is one of the most enduring operas in the repertoire, and for good reason,” says Director Helton. “The brilliant young singers of the MSU vocal arts area will amaze the audience with their fearless rendering of this difficult, yet completely accessible bel canto music. This is a perfect first opera for children and opera lovers will enjoy the hysterically funny situations as well as the amazing virtuosic singing.”

Ticket information
Cinderella (La Cenerentola): $18, $16 for senior citizens, and $8 for students and those under 18. Tickets are available from Wharton Center Box Office only: (517) 432-2000, (800) WHARTON.

There will be a $2 Wharton Center restoration fee added.

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