L.A. Opera followed THE FLYING DUTCHMAN with a production of Gioachino
Rossini's CINDERELLA directed by the Barcelona-based Joan Font, a specialist
in zany comedy. Font and his Spanish design team turned Rossini's retelling
of the Cinderella story into a pop-art romp replete with outrageous and
wildly-costumed characters, six dancing rats, and non-stop slapstick action.
Only the heroine, Angelina (the youthful and warm-voiced mezzo-soprano,
Kate Lindsey), seemed remotely human.
CINDERELLA is minor Rossini. Composed back in 1817 in a mere three weeks,
the opera's music is mostly pastiche but, as always with Rossini, the
bel-canto tunes are plentiful and never boring. The principals, when they're
not mugging it up, have lots to sing
about (the opera is three hours long--and gets to be annoyingly repetitive
at that length). Rene Barbera took on the taxing role of the prince; Alessandro
Corbelli clowned around as Angelina's greedy stepfather. Vito Priante
had equally great fun posturing as
the servant Dandini; Stacey Tappan and Ronnita Nicole Miller got belly-laughs
as the bumptious stepsisters.
L.A. Opera will play a significant role in BRITTEN 100/LA, a three-year
celebration of Benjamin Britten's work and legacy. Nearly seventy organizations
in the USA and Europe are taking part in the centenary. On June 4, L.A.
Opera's Domingo-Thornton Young
Artists will appear at "Britten: Sacred and Profane," a talk
by Mitchell Morris at the West Hollywood Library (as part of the LGBT