New Production 2018
By G. Rossini
Conducted by Jane Anderson-Brown
Red Earth Opera was formed in 2013, to perform at the Teignmouth Classical Music Festival in March 2014. The 2018 Autumn production of Rossini’s La Cenerentola featured emerging professional soloists and a community based chorus and orchestra.
“Once upon a time there was a girl named Cinderella. You may know her as Cendrillon, or Aschenputtel, The Cinder-Maid or just plain old Cinders. Hundreds of years old and with versions originating from all over the world, the Cinderella story is a truly timeless and universal tale.
Whatever her name and whichever version of this much loved fairytale is your favourite (Grimm, Disney or Perrault to name but three) the essence of the story remains the same – the telling of the unjust treatment of a young woman who is unexpectedly elevated to a position of power and prestige: the triumph of goodness over oppression. When Rossini wrote his dazzling opera buffa version in 1816 the story was already well known. He based his version on the then century-old Charles Perrault story, which included the pumpkin carriage, Cinderella’s fairy godmother and the glass slipper (Perhaps because of practicalities Rossini replaced the slipper with a pair of bracelets).
The world will always love a tale of “rags to riches”, a dreamer whose wishes come true, which means we don’t need to look far to identify the Cinderella story in our world today. This year 1.9 billion people around the world watched the making of a princess when Meaghan Markle married Prince Harry. A divorced, American, woman of colour, a politically outspoken feminist and humanitarian, Markle is the embodiment of a very modern Cinderella and the inspiration for ours.
We also quickly found the epitome of pride and vanity in our selfie obsessed sisters, their greedy father, and then our posh prince and laddish mate, Dandini, who both fall for the mysterious girl at the ball. Their story takes place before adoring fans desperate for a glimpse of the royalty and reminiscent of crowds outside Buckingham Palace, in rain ponchos clutching Union Jacks. Finally, no Cinderella 2018 would be complete without her very own fairy drag-mother, who provides the magic as well as the majesty.” - Director’s Note for the production
Feedback from the participants - “Just a short note to say a big 'thank you' for the opportunity to take part in the gorgeous opera. What a cast of principal singers! The audience seemed to be genuinely engaged and I couldn't fail to notice that a young lad sitting in the third row's gangway seat seemed to find all the piece's humour particularly to his liking, not least because of the extra zing resulting from Edwina's gifted stage direction. She and all the principals deserve to enjoy successful careers.”