The production — new to Houston and shared with the major opera houses in Barcelona, Geneva and Cardiff — is directed and designed by the imaginative Catalan theater troupe Els Comediants. They've given Rossini's Cinderella story a colorful dolls-and-toy-soldiers look, as you can see in the photos below.
Co-starring as Prince Ramiro (that's our Prince Charming) is Lawrence Brownlee, a gifted coloratura singer who's set, says David Patrick Stearns in The Philadelphia Inquirer, "to emerge from the long vocal shadow cast by the other major tenor in his repertoire, Juan Diego Fl‹rez." (Brownlee has been a cover singer for his star colleague numerous times, and the two are good friends.)
Rounding out the cast are Patrick Carfizzi as Don Magnifico, Earle Patriarco as Dandini, Tamara Wilson and Catherine Cook as the wicked stepsisters Clorinda and Tisbe, and Nikolay Didenko as Alidoro. Edoardo M‹ller conducts the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra and Chorus.
La Cenerentola opens on January 27, with further performances on Jan. 30 and Feb. 4, 7, 9 and 11 at the Wortham Theater Center in downtown Houston. For more information, visit www.houstongrandopera.com.
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All photos by Brett Coomer.