Tuesday, December 18, 2007

La Cenerentola

La Cenerentola at the Royal Opera looks a little like the kitchen in Leave it to Beaver gone to seed. The only thing this Angiolina seems to really mind is that everyone is always so crabby. She doesn't mind cooking and cleaning all the time, if only she got to have a little fun once in a while. She tries to be pleasant, but they are such bitches. Her family are the nastiest, roughest, cruelest bunch I've seen in this opera. There was quite a lot of pushing around.

Magdalena Kožená in the title role projects as a very modern girl, attractive and together. I didn't warm to her unsentimental portrayal. To accomplish the coloratura she shakes her whole body from side to side in a not unattractive dance. This Angiolina is likable and steely, and will get along fine in her new life. She does the aria still in her serving clothes, something I've never seen before.

I've long thought the opera should be titled Don Magnifico, sung masterfully by Alessandro Corbelli, since he gets all the arias. When I was listening to this opera for hours on end, I usually skipped his stuff. I think this is the same guy. The tenor, Toby Spence, was appealing to me until he blooped too many high notes. I think the tenor for Cenerentola has to have high notes that float.

I love this opera, and loved it once again.

I didn't quite buy the paparazzi idea. In a world of paparazzi one would know which one was the real prince. Could Prince William swap with his valet? Not really.

The carriage is a gorgeous blue Rolls Royce, the star of the evening. The conducting was excellent with lots of fluidity and subtlety. Evelino Pido got that part right, but the other part of conducting opera, the part where you coordinate with the singers who are busy doing other things, was not so good. He lost them a few times.

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