#Italian opera abroad: presentation of Cinderella in Mexico

Image courtesy of Teatro del Bicentenario
Image courtesy of Teatro del Bicentenario

The Teatro del Bicentenario will present a production of “Cinderella”, a comic opera in two acts that is full of sparkling humor and wonderful music. The opera was composed by Gioachino Rossini with a libretto by Jacopo Ferretti, which he based on the famous fairy tale. There will be three performances of the opera on September 29th, October 2nd and October 4th. For more details, see this link: http://teatrodelbicentenario.com/opera-la-cenicienta/

The opera was composed in a very short period of time, just three weeks, and premiered at the Teatro Valle in Rome on January 25, 1817 under the direction of Rossini himself. Apparently, the libretto was the first major success for Jacopo Feretti, who wrote it with great speed for Rossini around Christmas in 1816. “Cinderella” is considered the second most performed opera of Rossini after “The Barber of Seville”, and it is certainly one of the most acclaimed operas worldwide.

According to the Wikipedia article on the subject, Giambattista Basile, a Neapolitan soldier and government official, wrote “Lo cunto de li cunti” (The Story of Stories), or Pentamerone. It featured the tale of Cenerentola, which included a wicked step mother and step sisters, magical transformations, a missing slipper, and a hunt by a prince for the owner of the slipper. It was published posthumously in 1634. There have been other adaptations of the tale, but one of the most popular versions of Cinderella was written by Charles Perrault and published in “Histoires ou contes du temps passé” in 1697. The popularity of Perrault’s tale was apparently due to his additions to the story, including the pumpkin, the fairy-godmother and the introduction of glass for the slipper. The tale was further popularized by the Brothers Grimm in their folk tale collection "Grimm’s Fairy Tales"

Photos of Ernesto Ramirez and Guadalupe Paz courtesy of Teatro del Bicentenario
Photos of Ernesto Ramirez and Guadalupe Paz courtesy of Teatro del Bicentenario

The cast of soloists in the upcoming production is headed by the mezzo-soprano Guadalupe Paz, specialist in the interpretation of Rossini heroines, as Angelina (Cinderella) and the Mexican tenor Ernesto Ramirez who will debut in Mexico in the role of Don Ramiro, after having sung the role in Canada, USA, France, Germany, and Switzerland. They will be accompanied by a primarily Mexican cast under the musical direction of Frenchman Sébastien Rouland, a specialist in the Rossini repertoire, in his second appearance in Mexico. The Stage Director Luis Martin Solis is from Guanajuato and has extensive experience in theater direction. He has formed a talented creative team with outstanding artists from throughout Mexico.

I was fortunate enough to attend a few opera performances presented by the Teatro del Bicentenario when I lived in León, Guanajuato. I am sure that this upcoming presentation of Cinderella is one that I would have enjoyed attending if I still lived there.

Ci sentiamo presto,

Lina

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