Halloween in September
Opéra de Lausanne
09/09/2001 - and 12, 14, 16, 18 September 2001
Gioachino Rossini: La Cenerentola
Patricia Bardon (Angelina), Anne-Lise Sollied (Clorinda), Laura Brioli (Tisbe), Yann Beuron (Don Ramiro), Anthony Marber (Dandini), Jean-Philippe Marlière (Don Magnifico), Benjamin Bevan (Alidoro)
Stéphan Grögler (Director), Véronique Seymat (Set and Costumes), Chœur de l’Opéra de Lausanne, Véronique Carrot (Chorus Master), Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Jonathan Darlington (Conductor).
Rossini brought his La Cenerentola out of its fairytale context into a realistic setting. There is no more fairy queen, no pumpkin -though Halloween seems very present in the set-, no glass shoe... in stead, we have a tramp, the prince's councillor Dandini that helps Cenerentola to go to the bal and a bracelet that she looses instead of the shoe. Rossini's aim was to strip the story from its phantasmagoria to bring out truly human feelings: Cenerentola is looking for true romantic love which brings seriousness to this not entirely « buffa » opera. Especially when we consider Don Ramiro's aria, « Si trovarla io giuro », that is more profound than buffa. Cenerentola is looking for herself, and trying to find freedom from her mean family, trough true love.
What we have instead is an incredible mixture a flashbacks to tales like the seven dwarfs -that are, in fact, only five-, Merlin the magician, and ugly flying witches, all in all a big masquerade. There is a quantity of toys scattered all on the scene, especially spooky dolls whose eyes glow in the dark. It is said, that the director, Grögler finds all this junk at the market place. It is a fashion to do recycling in art now days.
Grögler, has worked on the idea of bringing La Cenerentola back to the fairytale Cendrillon of Perrault, though this was not the aim of Rossini. In spite of that the lively show is worth a detour. Especially concerning the cast, which is quite brilliant. Patricia Bardon, the diva of the evening keeping all her energy to the last aria which is the most difficult and impressive virtuoso: « Non piu mesta... ». Yann Beuron (Don Ramiro) charmed by Cenerentola sings his « Si trovera io giuro » with a brilliant voice carrying through the difficulties of the vocalises. Don Magnifico interpreted by Jean-Philippe Malière does not sing loud enough, though he has a good voice, and is often covered by the orchestra, which is very rightly conducted. The spirit of Rossini is there and from the overture to the finale one can hear all the instruments clearly. The interpretation is of precision.
To bad that the artists and the choir have to do so many things at the same time, (run around, dance, serve as table legs during the prince's dinner, fly...) besides singing a difficult opera. They must be exhausted.