There are many versions of the comedy we know as Cinderella but all relate to the unwanted daughter who finds her way to the heart of a prince much to the annoyance of her family. Rossini’s La Cenerentola is a straightforward story that does not use mystery or magic in the telling and so should not be compared with Christmas panto or Walt Disney. In this day and age, therefore, it is a little slow.
Rossini does not help with his overture to the Opera which is awkward in its beginning and is unsettling - but the Orchestra of Scottish Opera went on to overcome this difficult start under conductor William Lacey. Claire Haslin’s fortepiano continuo was a joy, and there was little to spoil the enjoyment on the stage above the Orchestra.
The stage was set with six large self moving structures which on first sight looked like part-confessional box and part wardrobe - with marquetry trees along their top edges. From these boxes the players came and went, and although the boxes moved they were to remain on stage throughout.
It was pleasing that the performers matched their parts. The two lively stepdaughters with a magisterial father who becomes a farce and poor old Cinderella, the Prince and his tall slim former tutor, the chubbier valet and some camp moments from the supporting cast. Cinderella’s best outfit after changing from her rags was, however, a little curious.
Russian mezzo-soprano Victoria Yarovaya, winner of the 2013 Mercedes Viñas Prize, plays Cenerentola, and rising Rossini star Nico Darmanin was Prince Ramiro. The talented ensemble cast also features baritone Richard Burkhard (The Magic Flute 2012), soprano Rebecca Bottone (The Pirates of Penzance 2013) and renowned bass Graeme Danby. There was a lack of enthusiastic applause from those in my vicinity as the story progressed but the final hand clapping made up for lost ground along the way.
Performance Reviewed: Thursday 13th November 2014 at 7.15pm, also on 16th, 19th and 22nd November 2014 in Edinburgh