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Rossini: La Cenerentola (Cinderella) [VHS]

Cecilia Bartoli , Enzo Dara , Brian Large    Exempt   VHS Tape
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Cecilia Bartoli, Enzo Dara, Raúl Giménez, Alessandro Corbelli, Michele Pertusi
  • Directors: Brian Large
  • Writers: Charles Perrault, Jacopo Ferretti
  • Producers: J.F. Mastroianni, Judy Flannery, Mona Niemiec
  • Language: Italian
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Decca
  • VHS Release Date: 20 May 1996
  • Run Time: 164 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004R6RM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 133,289 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

An operatic re-telling of the story of Cinderella. Magnifico has three daughters, the ugly Clorinda and Tisbe, and the beautiful Cenerentola, who is forced to do the housework. When Prince Ramiro throws a ball it is the ugly sisters who assume they will catch the Prince's eye, little knowing that his tutor Alidoro has already selected Cenerentola as a fitting bride. To add to the confusion, the Prince swaps places with his valet Dandini. Performed live from the Wortham Center, Houston. Stars Cecilia Bartoli.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Two and half hour of splendid joy. Fantastic singers-actors and famous music. Beautiful melody and exiting performance. Art of Cecilia Bartoli is unbelivable. She sings very difficult trells without efforts. The "Cenerentola" is beautiful opera, but it suggests that Gioaccino Rossini didn't want to make life easy for singers - because of so many music "rocks" in partitura. Torture for Voices, but not for such singers as Enzo Dara, Jimenez and others. I can advise this video for all vievers, not only opera-lovers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a revelation! 15 Dec 2009
Format:VHS Tape
I first saw this performance on television and videoed the performance. I was not at all impressed and the video languished at the bottom of the pile for years. Recently my daughter's partner copied sundry videos onto DVD for me and, more out of curiosity than anything else, I decided to spend one evening revisiting a performance which I had mentally written off ages ago.

What a revelation!

Rossini's opera follows the familiar story of Cinderella but with some variations from the version we all know. No fairy godmother (the rôle is largely taken by Alidoro, the prince's former tutor) and no glass slipper. Baron Hardup is called Don Magnifico. But English-speaking audiences will not feel lost in this plot; Cinderella, the handsome prince, and the two ugly sisters are all there. The music, as in all of Rossini's best comedies, fizzes and sparkles like vintage champagne.

This is a conventional performance with period costumes, and none the worse for that. The singing is excellent, as is the acting. I feel a little sorry for the prince, who has a fairly straight part to play in what is otherwise a romp, clearly much enjoyed by the cast. I should particularly mention the distinguished buffo bass Enzo Dara who is superb as Don Magnifico. And, saving the best till last, Cecilia Bartoli is Cinderella. Those anticipating vocal pyrotechnics from this superb singer will not be disappointed. But she also reveals an ability to act in what is a wonderful ensemble performance. The orchestra is fine and the audience in Houston clearly enjoyed every minute.

The only criticism of this recording which I could come up with was the subtitling. It is very sparse, although you are unlikely to lose the thread of the story.
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful! 10 Jan 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This performance of LA CENERENTOLA was taped at Houston Grand Opera in 1995. The performances marked Cecilia Bartoli's American debut, and as Angelina she completely justified all the "hype" that surrounded her at that time. She sings beautifully and acts nicely, creating a put-upon yet spunky "Cinderella." Opposite Bartoli, Raul Gimenez gives a sincere and sensationally sung Prince Ramiro. His love duet with Bartoli in Act I ("Un soave non so che") is an oasis of calm in a witty Rossinian fairy tale. The supporting cast includes Enzo Dara (Don Magnifico), Alessandro Corbelli (Dandini), and Michele Pertusi (Alidoro, the "fairy godfather"). Corbelli's Dandini has since become famous (a British critic called it one of the finest operatic characterizations of our day), and here one can see why: it is subtle, humorous, and richly sung. (Corbelli was also Dandini in 1997 Metropolitan Opera performances, one of which was telecast in 1998. His Met portrayal was very different but every bit as masterful; it's too bad that telecast is not yet commercially available.) Dara, who sings the stepfather, Magnifico, looks like Ed Wynn (of MARY POPPINS and "I Love to Laugh" fame). Although Dara's acting is very funny, he is clearly past his vocal prime -- in fact, I think I'd rather hear Ed Wynn sing the role. Young bass Pertusi, however, provides plenty of vocal freshness in his lengthy, wonderful aria, "La del ciel." The production is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen of an opera; the sets and costumes look like fanciful children's book illustrations. This is a marvelous performance that one can watch again and again -- as I certainly have!
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great performances, flawed production 6 Jun 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Though I have some reservations about the production, there are such great performances on this video that I have given it four stars and recommend it. For instance, you can enjoy the talents of Cecilia Bartoli, here making her American debut, who gives a spirited and vocally dazzling performance of the heroine. Then there is the dashing Rossinian tenor Raul Gimenez, who lends impeccable elegance and vocal polish to the role of Don Ramiro. I'm sorry for the cursory way that I've treated the two leads, but I would really like to concentrate on the two buffo roles of Don Magnifico and Dandini, played by Enzo Dara and Alessandro Corbelli. Dara is a veteran Italian basso buffo who, as another revewer pointed out, bears a striking resemblence to Ed Wynn. His voice was clearly past its prime at the time of this performance and is quite weak, though his stage manner is as funny as ever. He is very endearing, but I'm not sure he adequately emphasizes the character's menacing qualities. However, his rapid delivery of the patter in his third aria (while throwing cards) is unbelievable! As the prince-for-a-day valet Dandini, Corbelli shows why he has become famous in this role: his performance is both superbly sung and hilariously acted. Just watch his aria: this is clearly a great comedian as well as a great singer! Corbelli is a fine artist, no doubt about it. Finally, there is Michele Pertusi as Alidoro, who has a fine voice but is hampered by the production's stodgy conception of the role.
As for the physical production, I find it less apt than the recent Metropolitan Opera production (telecast on PBS but not yet available commercially). The Met production was true to the surreal, zany spirit of Rossini. This prettified Houston production looks like a cross between a Disney fantasy and a French Rococo painting. The result is that Rossini's urbane, witty, realistic comedy looks too much like what he didn't intend it to be - a fairy tale. It's a beautiful, magical production, mind you - but it isn't very Rossinian. The Met production is not flawless by any means, but it is more true to Rossini's world. Consider for example how the two versions stage the famous sextet: in the Met version the participants actually get tangled in a long piece of string (as the text says); in Houston they just sit there and sing.
But this production has so many wonderful performances going for it, that any opera lover should buy it. LA CENERENTOLA is a one-of-a-kind evening's entertainment, no matter what the sets and costumes and staging look like. But please look out for that Met production, which also has Bartoli, Corbelli, and Pertusi.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming Cinderella tale, great Opera Introduction 15 Jan 2001
By Little Dorrit - Published on Amazon.com
This is a super film of a really charming opera. Funny, and totally appealing tale with a horrid stepfather instead of stepmother, and the two customary stepsisters. Cecilia Bartoli was born to play the role, singing to perfection the difficult and beautiful Rossini music.
Great sets and stage production, and a prince to bring about the happy ending, this is a great film to introduce newbies to opera!
5.0 out of 5 stars what a grest Cinderella 23 April 2013
By hollygolightly - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Rossini is honored by the great performances of Bartoli, Campanella, Daro, and Houston. What great fun. Highly recommend this rendition.
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