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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sparkling 'Cinderella', 27 Sep 2005
By 
J Scott Morrison (Middlebury VT, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: La Cenerentola (Audio CD)
Stendhal, in his biography of Rossini, writes that not long after a performance of 'La Cenerentola' begins he starts feeling almost nauseated, and eventually indicates this is due to the opera's 'banality' and 'lack of idealism.' Well, I don't know what Stendhal was talking about. Generations of opera-goers have found it utterly delightful, and anyone who listens to this live performance from the Rossini in Wildbad (Germany) Festival will likely agree. The music is vintage Rossini, written right after 'Barbiere di Siviglia.' The conductor is one of the most respected Rossini scholars around, and he is conducting his own edition of the work. Indeed, Alberto Zedda is the editor of the Rossini Gesamtausgabe (Complete Edition), director of the Pesaro (Italy) Rossini Opera Festival, and has probably conducted more performances of Rossini operas than anyone alive. The Rossini in Wildbad Festival has introduced many young Rossini singers to the world and in this performance we get to hear the cream of the coming crop. The Cenerentola (Joyce Di Donato) is no stranger to the role, having sung it in several other productions (among them La Scala), including one I saw in her hometown, Kansas City; she was simply sensational then as she is in this performance. Di Donato is a comer; among other things she sang Sister Helen Prejean in the première of Jake Heggie's 'Dead Man Walking.' She has a rich, flexible mezzo, is a consummate actor with the voice and has perfect control of Rossini's fioriture.
The other singers in the cast do equally well. José Manuel Zapata is a lyrical and lovable prince, Don Ramiro. He and Di Donato sound marvelous together as the young lovers. Paolo Dordogna scores as Don Ramiro's valet who masquerades as the prince. Don Magnifico, the improverished baron, father of the two sisters Clorinda and Tisbe, is sung with comic relish by Bruno Praticò. He is particularly funny in the drunken scene where he pretends to be Dandini's wine steward. (I am always amused to recall once seeing a wine shop called 'Don Magnifico's.' An inside joke if I ever saw one.) The cast is rounded out by Patrizia Cigna and Martina Borst as Clorinda and Tisbe. And the engine of the plot, the philosopher Alidoro, is sung deliciously by basso Luca Pisaroni. The Prague Chamber Choir is excellent as is the orchestra, the SWR Radio Orchestra Kaiserslauten led by Zedda. This is Rossini as to the manor born.
There have been any number of other recordings of this delightful opera but for a newcomer to the score, this budget release is more than value for cost. There is no libretto included in the booklet, but the Italian libretto is available online at an url supplied by the Naxos website.
An easy recommendation.
2CDs: 2:34:44
Scott Morrison
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Live Performance 5 Stars with reservations, 12 Feb 2011
By 
Marcolorenzo (Italy) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: La Cenerentola (Audio CD)
The orchestral playing on this recording is spectacular. The conductor Alberto Zedda, considered by many to be the world's pre-eminent Rossini conductor, conducts the SWR Radio Orchestra (Stuttgart Radio Orchestra) and the Prague Chamber Choir with sparkling vitality and considerable effervescence. The orchestra is the star of this performance. Cenerentola is sung by Joyce Donato, mezzo soprano who is definitely immersed in the character, singing with great expressiveness and warmth. However I make the comparison with the same role sung by Federica von Stade, lyric mezzo-soprano on the DVD with Abbado where Stade's voice seems to me better suited to the part and is more beautiful and more delicate. Alidoro sung by Luca Pisaroni is exemplary. Prince Ramiro sung by José Zapata also gives a very fine performance. In short this is a good live performance, punctuated however by disturbing audience applause and laughter often, where the orchestral score is the star and where the singing doesn't have a dull moment and the action is carried along even in the recitatives with vitality and virile force but where the principal part of Cenerentola is to my taste better sung by a soprano or lyric mezzo and not by a dramatic mezzo soprano. It's just a subtle matter of personal taste. Also see:Rossini - La Cenerentola (Abbado) [DVD] [2005]Rossini: La Cenerentola
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Performance, 1 Oct 2014
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This review is from: La Cenerentola (Audio CD)
This is a magical performance of a wonderful piece. DiDonato and Zapata make an enchanting couple and their singing is both intelligent and exquisite,matching one another with great delicacy and delightful touches of colouratura. The rest of this cast match this level of performance. Please buy it and enjoy.
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La Cenerentola
La Cenerentola by Gioachino Rossini (Audio CD - 2005)
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