Thursday, August 13, 2009

Rossini’s La Cenerentola on PBS this month

Rossini’s La Cenerentola will air on Great Perfomances on PBS this weekend or later this month depending on your local PBS station. Check your local listings for performance times since they are subject to change around the U.S. You can read more about it on the Great Performances website here: La Cenerentola, and I've embedded a preview video into this post above.

From the press release:

Over the centuries, the story of Cinderella and her cruel stepmother and ugly stepsisters has been interpreted in countless ways across different genres. Gioachino Rossini’s La Cenerentola is perhaps the most famous operatic version of the Cinderella story, and it is like no other interpretation. This opera has no fairy godmother, no pumpkin that turns into a carriage, and no glass slipper. However, unlike most other operas, it has a happy ending. The production is rated TV-PG and will air on Great Performances at the Met in HD on Saturday, August 15 at Noon on PBS (check local listings) and on WNET/THIRTEEN on Thursday, August 20 at 9 p.m.

Great Performances at the Met is a presentation of THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG – one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers.

Mezzo soprano Elīna Garaňca, who played Rosina in another one of Rossini’s operas, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, now claims the role of the title heroine in La Cenerentola; her Prince Charming is played by Lawrence Brownlee. “It’s actually a coincidence that I’m returning in another of Rossini’s works,” admits Garaňca. Of the opera’s most memorable coloratura showpiece, “Nacqui alľ affanno,” Garaňca says “for me it’s the Olympics – adrenaline at its highest. To get through it, I must switch on all the buttons in the computer in my head and body.”

Italian opera in the early 19th century focused heavily on the range, inflection, and tone of the human voice; this style became known as “bel canto,” or “beautiful singing.” While many opera singers tried to wow audiences by improvising with this technique and adding trills and lilts to their singing, Rossini’s operas, especially La Cenerentola, had bel canto already built right into the scores.

Great Performances at the Met: La Cenerentola is the tenth of 11 productions airing this season on the series. The performance is sung in Italian with English surtitles.

1 comment:

  1. I saw La Cenerentola at Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown, NY. Actually, I saw it twice. I loved it.

    Glimmerglass had the tendency to think outside of the box and the opera was set during the Depresson. Once Julie Boulianne (Angelina/Cinderella) began to sing, I never wanted an apron more in my life.

    I thought Rossini's opera was a marvelous take on the Cinderella fairy tale.

    One review of many: