“La Cenerentola,” Gioacchino Rossini’s operatic version of Cinderella, opens this evening at 7:30 p.m in the University Center for the Arts.
This production, which is considered one of Rossini’s finest vocal compositions, will also be performed Saturday and next Friday, March 6 at 7:30 p.m., and again on Sunday, March 8 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $9 for students and can be purchased at the Campus Box Office.
“La Cenerentola” is the story of Cinderella with a twist: Instead of a wicked stepmother, there is a wicked stepfather desperate to have one of his two daughters married to the prince for money and security, said CJ Carpenter a senior theater and English literature major, who is the assistant director of the opera.
“There is also a bracelet instead of the glass slipper and is given to the prince by Cenerentola so he can find the girl with the same bracelet,” Carpenter said.
“This is a very different from the Disney version. It is dark like a Grimm fairy tale,” said Tracy Kaufman, a second year music graduate student who plays Cinderella in one of the casts. “Cinderella is similar in the fact that she is a good soul. It is a dream come true story of an individual going from poverty to riches.”
La Cenerentola is also going to be performed in Italian, the original language of the opera. Super titles will accompany the opera so the audience can follow what is going on.
“I think when the audience comes in and sees how the students have mastered the pronunciation of the language and applied it to a difficult rhythm they will be impressed,” Carpenter said. “The entire show is a huge challenge. There are close to 500 pages in just the vocal score.”
Dr. Tiffany Blake directed the show, and this is the first performance she has directed at CSU.
“Directing Rossini’s magical ‘La Cenerentola’ for my first production has been a wonderful experience,” she said.
“We chose ‘Cenerentola’ based upon the opportunities it has to showcase some of our best singers.” Blake said. “There are so many elements that will make this a positive experience: Everyone is already familiar with the story, it is relatively short and it is hilarious.”
Special nightly themes will accompany each performance, and every night a book drive will take place. The books that are collected will be donated to the Invisible Children of Uganda.
“We are drawing from the fairy tale aspect of Cinderella,” Blake said. “We also hope to bring people’s attention to the joys of reading.”
All books that are donated will be placed on the stage and become part of the set the performers interact with, said Carpenter. This helps get the audience directly involved in the production.
“We are all looking for a way to escape, and this opera is a beautiful way to do that,” said Amy VanMechelen, a first year voice performance graduate student who plays Tisbe, one of the stepsisters in the play. “I hope people will come, especially CSU students, so they can see what we’re doing.”
Staff writer Ashley Lauwereins can be reached at email@example.com.