At the Opera America conference I was fortunate enough to be invited to a dress rehearsal of Cinderella at the Kennedy Performing Arts Center. It was one of the more hilarious operas I’ve ever seen, but it should have been half the length.
- Nice twist on the traditional Cinderella storyline I’m familiar with, and by ‘twist’ I mean I think this was written before Disney, and even before the Grimm’s fairytale version. Here it’s an evil stepfather instead of stepmother, a merlin-esque wizard instead of a fairy godmother, and a cool extra subplot with the prince swapping places with his valet. Also no glass slipper or Cinderella running away.
- The rats were hilarious.
- The valet/prince switcheroo was hilarious.
- In fact, all the actors had great comic timing and had fantastic physicality in their performances.
- Solid set design.
- The plotline really kicked into gear when we got to the castle.
- Pretty music. One of the songs that worked as a kind of round has been stuck in my head for days (and I don’t really mind!)
- It took a long time for the show to get going. I was struggling to stay awake for a lot of act 1.
- Even when things did take off, there were scenes that would reach their ‘point’ 2 minutes in, but then there’d be another 10 minutes of vamping on the emotions that were already established. There were times when we were shown a line of supertitles (the opera is in Italian), then would not see the next line for over a minute.
- That’s really it. Just edit it down!