The idea of the new, original staging of Rossini’s La Cenerentola belongs to the Novaya Opera’s Art Director Victor Gerasimenko, who has not only designed the sets and costumes, but also directed the production.
The special feature is three huge screens that display animated pictures: a fantastic garden, pavilions with clouds floating through their pillars, a carriage with a horse, picturesque landscapes, and various symbols and allegories. The singers seem to move from the real stage space into the screen. The computer design replicates the colourful set design. The bright costumes are a stylish compilation of elements belonging to different epochs. And this makes the story of a noble prince and a slovenly poor girl, Cinderella, timeless. The story becomes modern and topical.
The plot of Rossini’s opera differs from Perrault’s fairy tale in that Cinderella has a stepfather instead of a stepmother. The magician Alidoro stands for the fairy godmother. The Prince disguised as a servant meets Cinderella before the ball, while Dandini, the Prince’s servant, impersonates the Prince to test the sincerity of Don Magnifico’s daughters. At the ball Cinderella does not lose a shoe, but gives the Prince a bracelet, which should help find her. The operatic fairy tale is full of magic, disguises and comic situations.
“I see what technologies are used in the world, how quickly the computer industry develops, and this interest me a lot. Besides, the very story makes it possible to animate and computerize the sets. The world of magic is made to change instantly; a fairy tale is about constant transformations. And computer graphics can make it work”.
“This opera is a firework of brilliant ensembles, virtuoso passages, tongue twisting recitatives, memorable melodies, and vivid characters. This creates the atmosphere of a music feast. And this is Rossini’s genius for you: even melodramatic and lyric episodes sound light and charming in the context of a comic opera”.
The Kolobov Novaya Opera Theatre 3/2 Karetny Ryad (Hermitage Garden), Moscow, 127006, Russia