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Cinderella (La Cenerentola by Rossini)
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2/29/08 at 8 p.m.
3/2/08 at 2 p.m.

Ohio Theatre

Production details

Opera in two acts
Music by Gioacchino Rossini
Libretto by Jacopo Ferretti, based on Etienne's Cendrillon
February 29 and March 2 (Matinée), 2008, The Ohio Theatre
World Première: February 1, 1896, Teatro Regio, Turin

Don Ramiro, Prince of Salerno: tenor
Dandini, his valet: baritone
Don Magnifico, Baron of Monte Fiascone: basso-buffo
Clorinda, his daughter: soprano
Tisbe, his other daughter: mezzo soprano
Angelina, known as Cenerentola, his step-daughter: mezzo-soprano
Alidoro, a philosopher and tutor of Prince Ramiro: bass

Courtiers, lackeys

The action takes place in Southern Italy, part in an old palace owned by Don Magnifico, and part in the country palace of the Prince half a mile away.

The Plot

As the curtain rises we see Cenerentola in a room preparing coffee for her two spoiled, artless stepsisters Clorinda and Tisbe. She is singing a ditty about a king who chose a poor girl for his bride instead of a lady of high station. Soon a visitor arrives. He is Alidoro, a philosopher and also tutor of Prince Ramiro. He is disguised as a beggar, and when Cenerentola treats him kindly and the sisters the opposite, he knows at least one piece of advice he can give his master.

The master of the house is the pompous Don Magnifico, a Baron of sorts fallen on hard times, anxious to marry off his daughters to someone rich. On his entrance he tells his daughters of a silly dream he just had. He dreamt he was an ass, and a very wealthy one at that, and scolds his daughters for having awakened him with their endless chatter.

After Don Magnifico and the two stepsisters leave the room Cenerentola is left alone to her house chores. The Prince enters disguised as a valet for he is looking for a bride who will love him for himself, not because he is a prince. He instantly notices Cenerentola working around the house. She is so startled by his appearance that she drops a tray full of crockery. It is love at first sight. They are rudely interrupted by the two stepsisters, who demand that Cenerentola wait on them at once, but Prince Ramiro's hear has been captivated by this simple girl whose name he doesn't even know as yet.

When Cenerentola has gone off to serve her stepsisters, still another man enters in disguise. This is Dandini, the Prince's valet, who has changed clothes with his master. As he tried to pose as a prince (by misquoting Latin texts), he announces a ball at "his" palace that evening. Cenerentola begs her stepfather to allow her to go to that ball. Naturally, her family unite in refusing her permission, but the scene ends with Alidoro returning to promise Cenerentola help in the matter.

In Ramiro's palace everyone is urging Dandini (still disguised as the Prince), to choose his bride. Among the available ladies can be seen Clorinda and Tisbe, Cenerentola's clumsy, ugly stepsisters. Both of them try to cull favor with Dandini, believing him to be a prince. Under their relentless assault, Dandini flees into another room, where he tells his master what he thinks of those two girls. They are dreadful, he says, but the relentless stepsisters are hotly in pursuit, until finally, to get rid of them, Dandini explains that he can marry only one of them. The other, he says, must marry his valet. This is totally unthinkable to the two gold-diggers.

Alidoro comes to announce the arrival of a mysterious lady. The wise old philosopher has dressed Cenerentola in a beautiful gown and brought her to the palace. No one recognizes her, because she is veiled, but everyone sees how beautiful she is, and all the court knows at once that his is the girl the Prince ought to marry. The act ends in a chorus of gaiety, with only the stepsisters refusing to echo the sentiments of everyone else.

The two stepsisters think the stranger looked so much like Cenerentola that the Prince could not possibly fall in love with her. Rather, each thinks she herself is going to win the martial sweepstakes, and, as expected, they quarrel. Meanwhile Dandini himself has fallen in love with Cenerentola. Still disguised, he proposes to her, but she replies that she has fallen in love with his valet. The Prince overhears this admission and (still in disguise, of course) comes forward to propose marriage. She admits that she loves him, as she said; but first he must find out who she is. She leaves behind one of her slippers as clue to find her by locating its rightful owner. As for Don Magnifico, he is quite sure that one of his daughters will marry the Prince, and the silly man is overjoyed. He imagines how powerful he will be and how people will come running to him begging for favors, and how he will kick them out. But the old fool is in for a quick disappointment. He, like everyone else, thinks that Dandini, the valet, was really the Prince, just because he was wearing princely clothes. Now Dandini comes in and tells the befuddled Baron who he really is. Don Magnifico is outraged, to the great amusement of Dandini.

Back in Magnifico's house, Cenerentola repeats her little ditty about the king who chose a lowly maid for his bride. She still does not know that the man who fell in love with her is a prince, not a valet. A storm rages outside. During it the Prince and Dandini (now dressed in their own clothes) seek shelter in the house and Cenerentola, trying to hide her face, lets the Prince see the slipper on her foot. He steps forward and at last Cenerentola learns that the man she loves is not a servant at all but really Prince Ramiro. Her relatives, (Magnifico, Clorinda and Tisbe) are properly horrified and will not speak to her. But finally Don Magnifico decides to beg forgiveness from Ramiro. The latter wants nothing to do with him but the good, kind Cenerentola pleads for her relatives that had treated her so shabbily. The Prince yields to his radiant bride and the opera ends in a jubilant chorus.

Artistic and Production Staff
Conductor & ChorusmasterWilliam Boggs
Stage DirectorKay Walker Castaldo*
Lighting designerMichael Baumgarten
Production Stage ManagerKevin R. Lohr
Assistant Stage ManagerKeely M. Kurtas
Costumesprovided by A.T. Jones & Sons, Inc.
Wigs provided byCosmic Hair and Makeup
Wig & Make-up DesignersChristopher Diamantides
Technical DirectorWilliam M. Blankenship*
Head ElectricianJudy Barto*
Assistant ElectriciansMichael Dooley*, Jim Harrington*, Drew Clausen*
Sound EngineerKevin Beaver*
Assistant CarpenterFrancis Link*
Head FlymanKenny Crothers*
Properties CoordinatorJames Ford*
Properties AssistantJessica Miller*
Wardrobe DirectorClaude Wayne Cossin^
Wardrobe ManagerDonna Mincer^
Titles CoordinatorCary Dachtyl
Stage HandsIATSE Local 12
Palace Theatre Head CarpenterJason Gay

*Members of IATSE Local No. 12 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees
^Members of IATSE Local No. 747, Theatrical Wardrobe Union

Principal Artists
Don Ramiro, Prince of SalernoBrian Downen
Dandini, his valetJohn Packard*
Cenerentola, his step-daughterJennifer Rivera

*Opera Columbus début
» Go Wild! for Opera
» The Pearl Fishers
» Turandot
» The Mikado
2007-2008 Season
Cinderella (by Rossini)
» La Bohème
» The Secret Garden
» H.M.S. Pinafore
» Repertoire
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