Dramma giocoso in two acts
First performance: 25 January 1817, Rome.
After the death of her mother Cinderella is forced to work as a maid, doing the housework for her stepfather Don Magnifico and her stepsisters Clorinda and Tisbe, while secretly dreaming of redemption.
One day she meets Prince Ramiro who, disguised as a valet, falls in love with her. With the help of his master Alidoro she goes to the ball in the palace where the prince declares his love for her and chooses her as his bride.
To compose “La Cenerentola”, Rossini took inspiration from the fairy tale by Charles Perrault, especially for moral reasons: Perrault emphasised the elements of forgiveness and virtue, values that certainly found favour with the papal censorship of the period. In the guise of an almost obligatory do-gooder attitude, there are glimpses of a sarcastic interpretation of a fairy tale that is more bitter than sugary sweet.
Cinderella is Baron Don Magnifico’s stepdaughter. Destined to do the humblest work she unexpectedly falls in love with Prince Ramiro, and then becomes his bride, transforming her dream into reality. The name of the protagonist, Angelina, is inspired by the subtitle of the opera “The triumph of goodness” and evokes her “angelic” purity of soul.
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the death of Gioacchino Rossini, an eclectic, fun and ironic character, remembered not only for his timeless musical compositions but also for his extravagant recipes. Rossini in fact became a success with the public, thanks to the light, comic nature of the stories, but he was just as well known for being a great connoisseur with excellent culinary gifts. He wrote in his diary: “Eating, loving, singing and digesting are, in truth, the four acts of the comic opera known as life. Whoever lets them escape without having enjoyed them is a fool.”