The reviews are in for Minnesota Opera’s “Cinderella”

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Andrew Wilkowske as Dandini, Daniel Mobbs as Alidoro, Roxana Constantinescu as La Cenerentola (Angelina) and John Tessier as Don Ramiro in The Minnesota Opera production of “Cinderella (La Cenerentola).”

Photo by Michal Daniel

Thinking about seeing Minnesota Opera’s production of “Cinderella?” See what the reviews are saying. I’ve included excerpts from five reviews here – to read the full reviews, just click on the author’s name.

Brad Richason of the Twin Cities Performance Art Examiner writes:

For those whose familiarity with the Cinderella tale extends no further than the animated Disney version, the absence of manifest fantasy in Gioachino Rossini’s operatic adaption will come as a surprise. In Rossini’s revered variation, there’s no fairy godmother casting transformative spells, no gilded carriage reverting to a pumpkin at the stroke of midnight. Far from being bereft of magic, however, the Minnesota Opera’s spellbinding new production of Rossini’s Cinderella, now running at the Ordway Center, exudes its own enthralling sense of enchantment.

Michael Anthony writes for MinnPost…

The characters on opening night seemed to be visual embodiments of Rossini’s sparkling score. And where most directors can’t resist infusing “Cenerentola” with low-down slapstick, Varone’s staging was full of surprises and witty, light-as-air touches that managed to take the familiar story seriously while allowing ample opportunity for laughs.

From Jay Gabler at TC Daily Planet:

This is not a definitive Cinderella, but it’s certainly an enjoyable one, offering pleasures for opera fans from novices to experts. When the show ended, my friend Nicky exclaimed, “That was the best opera I’ve ever seen!” It also happened to be the first opera she’d ever seen, but I suspect that thanks to this entertaining production, it won’t be her last.

Meanwhile, Rob Hubbard at Pioneer Press has this criticism:

There is plenty of patter “Cinderella,” the composer’s comic take on the fairy tale, and the Minnesota Opera seemed to have the right man to bring out those Rossini rhythms in director/choreographer Doug Varone. While he does so intermittently in the company’s new production, there’s a surprising paucity of movement, resulting in a relatively low-energy staging that’s often splendidly sung but not nearly as much fun as it has the potential to be.

Over at the Star Tribune, Larry Fuchsberg concludes:

In a cast without weaknesses, bass Donato DiStefano’s Don Magnifico (Angelina’s stepfather) stands out. DiStefano is a great Italian singing actor, commanding every trick in the comedian’s arsenal, and manages to be spectacularly stylish without concealing Magnifico’s abusiveness. Andrew Wilkowske’s hammy, swaggering Dandini and John Tessier’s ardent, agile Ramiro are also noteworthy.

Deployed in ways Rossini never dreamed, the all-male chorus (spiffy in white tie) sounds marvelous. So, for the most part, does the orchestra, which meets the challenge of Christopher Franklin’s uncompromising tempos. And all hands seem to relish the opera’s most delicious number: the “sextet of stupefaction,” a paean to the Italian rolled r.

Have you seen Cinderella? If so, give us your review!

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