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La Cenerentola, Garnier, from left Jeannette Fischer (Clorinda), Karine Deshayes (Angelina) et Anna Wall (Tisbe). Foto: Agathe Poupeney.jpg

Jean-Pierre Ponnelle (1932-1988) was one of the greatest opera directors of the 20th century. Nicolas Joel pays tribute to this master with his production of La Cenerentola, new staged by Grischa Asagaroff, a masterpiece of smiling grace. Karine Deshayes, the exceptional Rossinian, sings the sweet Angelina.

La Cenerentola by Giacchino Rossini at Palais Garnier is a fairytale, presented in a very well functioning scenography beautiful costumes, good light, and with an outstanding cast, topped by Karine Deshayes as a beautiful Angelina (Cenerentola), with the coloratura that we know is perfect and a stage appearance which is good. She is followed closely up by Carlos Chausson, splendid as her father, and she has got a great young Mexican tenor Javier Camarena as Don Ramiro – the Prince.

Her two horrible half-sisters are Jeannette Fischer as the good performing ballet sister Clorinda and Anna Wall as Tisbe. Furthermore Riccardo Novaro elegantly forms and sings the role as Dandini, the valet disguised as the prince, and the young Alex Espositois a very good Alidoro, as the beggar looking much older than he really is, but through his good stage appearance, we do notice that he is young and handsome. This ensemble of seven singers does it great. And the many ensemble pieces are having goo balances between them.

La Cenerentola, Garnier, from left: Jeannette Fischer (Clorinda), Riccardo Novaro (Dandini), Carlos Chausson (Don Magnifico), Karine Deshayes (Angelina), Javier Camarena (Don Ramiro) et Anna Wall (Tisbe). Foto: Agathe Poupeney

La Cenerentola, Garnier, Karine Deshayes and Javier Camarena. Foto Agathe Poupeney.jpgThe Male choir from the Opera de Paris is doing a good job, and the well functioning choreography is great, they let the male singers move and their stage appearance is lifting it all.

Musically, the conductor Bruno Campanella knows it all very well, and his tempi are swinging and very musical, in addition he has the deep knowledge of the music of Giacchino Rossini, which permits us, the audience, to get something extraordinary out of the evening.

We are having the great pleasure of again to see the old production by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, (1932-1988) staging, décor and costumes, new staged by Grischa Asagaroff.  Michael Bauer is responsible for the light. This old production was originally made for the Staatsoper in Munich.

From my first meeting with La Cenerentola in the 1980´s with the famous Norwegian mezzo soprano Edith Thallaug as Angelina, in Oslo, it has been a pleasure to follow La Cenerentolamany places around in the world. Some productions are, of course, better than others. The production present here in Paris is one of the very best, because the intelligence, with the staging and in good coordination with the scenography and costumes by Ponelle is so well functioning, the scenography, starting with a shabby house, where the main port/wall and windows can be opened so we look in to the two floors high hall with the open fire place, to the rooms of the two daughters and to the fathers bedroom and dressing room. Which makes that the changing of spaces are flooding elegantly, without any complicated changes.

La Cenerentola, Garnier, Karine Deshayes, Foto Agathe Poupeney.jpg

Cendrillon – Cenerentola

The basic for the history of La Cenerentola is the same as for the ballet Cendrillon, but in the opera version there is a clear difference. The librettist Jacopo Ferretti had drawn greatly on the text written by Charles Guillaume Etienne for Nicolo Isouard´s Cendrillon, created in 1810 which was itself inspired by Perrault´s fairytale. The essential difference between Ferretti´s libretto and Perrault’s tale is the absence of the magical. In the opera the fairy is replaced by a philosopher beggar, Alidoro, in this production in Paris wonderful performed by the young bass Alex Esposito on whom Angelina (Cenerentola) takes pity and who rewards her goodness by taking her to the ball. In the opera there is no pumpkin coach either and, instead of losing a glass slipper, Angelina gives the prince a bracelet. So in fact these beloved fairytale details, as perhaps many people knows well from Walt Disney’s film about Cinderella, is missing in the opera. However With its mixture of gravity and humor, tenderness and comically, La Cenerentola is at the crossroads between opera buffa and opera seria.

And as always with La Cenerentola, Cinderella, Cendrillon, Askepot. Happy ending: Angelina (Cenerentola) asks her husband, the Prince, to pardon her family: her innate goodness has made her forget the injustices she has suffered.  A good example for everybody.


Bruno Campanella Conductor
Jean-Pierre Ponnelle Stage director, sets and costumes
Grisha Asagaroff Revival director
Michael Bauer Lighting
Alessandro Di Stefano Chorus master

Javier Camarena Don Ramiro
Riccardo Novaro Dandini
Carlos Chausson Don Magnifico
Jeannette Fischer Clorinda
Anna Wall Tisbe
Karine Deshayes Angelina
Alex Esposito Alidoro

Paris Opera Orchestra and Chorus


Please enjoy our review from La Cenerentola at Theatre des Champs Elysees; Amusing staged by Irina Brook, with Vivica Geneau in the title role, premiered February 20th 2010 at: http://www.kulturkompasset.com/2010/02/playfull-renewed-la-cenerentola-at-theatre-champs-elysees/






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