As Edmonton Opera no longer carries historical program notes in its opera program booklets (instead there are always interesting introductions by the director of the production), we’ve included here an historical program note on Rossini’s Cenerentola (Cinderella), as an introduction to Edmonton Opera’s new production.
Rossini: Cenerentola (Cinderella)
Saturday, February 4, 8 pm
Tuesday, February 7, 7.30 pm
Thursday, February 9, 7.30 pm
The Cinderella story has long captured the imagination of composers, notably of Massenet in his opera Cendrillon of 1899, Wolf-Ferrari in his Cenerentola of 1900, and Prokofiev in his ballet of 1940. All the musical treatments can be ultimately be traced back to a 1697 collection of stories, ostensibly by the French writer Charles Perrault, a major celebrant of the Golden Age of King Louis XIV, but quite possibly co-authored with his son. A Cinderella opera by Laruette appeared in Paris in 1759, followed by three in the early 1810s: one by Isuoard in Paris (1810), with a libretto by Étienne, set simultaneously by Seibelt for a St.Petersburg opera in the same year, and, most celebrated of all, Rossini’s La Cenerentola of 1817.
The composition of La Cenerentola must constitute something of a record. Rossini’s librettist, Jacop Ferretti, wrote the libretto in three weeks. Rossini took twenty-four days for the music.