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FAIRY TALE CINDERELLA MAKES FOR GREAT OPERA
BAY VIEW, MI – On Wednesday, August 3, and continuing through Saturday, August 6, Rossini’s dramatic retelling of the beloved fairy tale Cinderella takes the stage of Auditorium Hall in Bay View. This work is one of the most popular in the entire operatic canon, with both beautiful and virtuosic tunes throughout, each penned by the man who wrote the catchy Barber of Seville so prevalently referenced in Bugs Bunny cartoons and other commercial use. The performance is the culmination of over 60 collegiate singers and instrumentalists who have come to study with the Bay View faculty for five weeks and represents one of the most intricate, multi-faceted art forms.
Cinderella, known in Italian as “La Cenerentola,” is appropriate for families. The show will be sung in Italian with English supertitles. Ticket prices are $25 and $28 reserved seating and free for children under 18 years of age. Tickets are available at the Voorhies Hall Box Office on campus Mon-Sat. 8:30-2:30pm, online at bayviewfestival.org, or by phone at 888-596-1027.
Composed in 24 days, Rossini premiered his adaptation of Charles Perrault’s classic fairy tale in Rome, 1817. Written with lyricist Jacopo Ferretti, the opera is based on Charles-Guillaume Étienne’s libretto for “Cendrillon,” an operatic treatment of Cinderella by Nicholas Isouard that was popular in Paris around 1810. “La Cenerentola” therefore differs from the Grimm- or Disney-popularized versions of the story. There is no fairy godmother, no pumpkin-coach, and no glass slipper … it is a bracelet which guides the Prince to his love after the ball. Another difference is that Cenerentola has a stepfather, the impoverished Don Magnifico, Baron of Montefiascone, in place of the traditional stepmother. However, the two appalling stepsisters remain, as do the harsh and severe conditions under which the Cinderella character lives.
And, of course, the story ends with a happily ever after.
Rossini is known for the unsurpassed brilliance of his comic invention and both the melodiousness and floridity of his vocal writing. Cinderella is no exception to these rules, in fact it emphasizes them. The title role is incredibly difficult. Although attempts have been made to arrange the music for soprano, the opera generally has to wait until a low voice with phenomenal agility comes along. When it does, the ensemble numbers, for which Rossini is known, are ethereal.
The production is double cast and features the Bay View Music Festival opera students. Representing universities from across the country, from Connecticut to California, this year’s students were handpicked from a enormous pool of submissions. The opera features stage direction by Bill Fabris, a seasoned director who has worked throughout the world, but most notably at Bay View’s sister community, Chautauqua in New York. The orchestra features a combination of festival students and faculty under the able direction of Maestro Brian Onderdonk, Music director of Center Stage Opera in L.A. Performances are at Hall Auditorium on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday August 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th at 8:00pm. Reserved Tickets are $25-28. For purchase information please go to http://bayviewfestival.org or visit the box office in Bay View.