Will the beautiful Cinderella make it to the royal ball and capture the heart of the handsome prince? Will her evil stepsisters stand in the way of her dreams? Gioachino Rossini’s 1817 opera Cinderella (La Cenerentola) tells the beloved story while adding some original twists and unexpected turns. Nashville Opera plans to present the piece in grand style during three January performances.
“Rossini’s Cinderella is an upbeat and fast-paced operatic re-telling of the famous story. Think The Barber of Seville crossed with Bugs Bunny meets the classic fairy tale,” says director John Hoomes, Nashville Opera’s General and Artistic Director. “While the opera is definitely a family-friendly evening of comic fun, the show ultimately becomes a poignant and positive story of goodness triumphing over adversity.”
Mezzo-soprano Leah Wool has the title role. She has performed with Portland’s prestigious Chamber Music Northwest, Sacramento Opera, San Francisco Symphony, Spoleto Festival USA, Utah Opera, and made her Metropolitan Opera debut in Le Nozze di Figaro. A two-time regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Wool was a second place winner in the 2005 Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation International Vocal Competition, and the recipient of the 2003 Judith Raskin Memorial Award from Santa Fe Opera. She also received the 2002 Presser Award, a prestigious study grant from The Presser Foundation and the Yale School of Music. She holds an Artist Diploma and Master of Music from Yale University and received her Bachelor of Music magna cum laude from Westminster Choir College.
In addition to Wool as Angelina/Cinderella, the cast includes tenor Javier Abreu as Don Ramiro; baritone Corey McKern as Dandini, and bass Jason Hardy as Don Magnifico. Amy Tate Williams, Nashville Opera Chorusmaster and Accompanist, leads the 16-person Nashville Opera Ensemble with Maestro Dean Williamson directing Nashville Symphony.
Performances of Rossini’s Cinderella will be Friday, Jan. 25 at 8 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 27 at 2 p.m. and Tuesday, Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. in the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s James K. Polk Theater (505 Deaderick St.). Tickets ($26-$102.50, plus the opera’s Pay-What-You-Can option) are now available by calling Nashville Opera at (615) 832-5242, the TPAC Box Office at (615) 782-4040, or online at www.nashvilleopera.org.
Story outlines, behind-the-scenes videos and a detailed study guide are also available at the website. The opera is sung in Italian with projected English translations. Patrons are invited to attend the free Opera Insights discussion led by Hoomes one hour prior to curtain in the Polk. Story outlines, behind-the-scenes videos, and a detailed study guide are also available at the website.
*Photo courtesy Leah Wool and Nashville Opera.