reviewed by Paula Citron
Glimmerglass Opera Festival 2009
Composed by Gioachino Rossini
Conducted by Joseph Colaneri
Directed by Kevin Newbury
Starring Julie Boulianne, John Tessier, Eduardo Chama and Keith Phares
At Alice Busch Opera Theatre until Aug. 23
At Glimmerglass Opera, Canadians take pride of place in Rossini’s La Cenerentola, with Julie Boulianne as Angelina and John Tessier as Don Ramiro.
Tessier has an international reputation as the perfect light lyric tenor, with his beautiful clarity of tone, seemingly effortless high notes and stage charisma. French-Canadian mezzo-soprano Boulianne is the one-to-watch, new kid on the block. Rossini’s endless coloratura is a killer, but Boulianne rips through ornamentation like a carving knife. Her voice has both sweetness and bite, with hints of darker and deeper notes to come.
The rest of the cast is excellent including roly-poly buffo bass-baritone Eduardo Chama as Don Magnifico, and the sensational young baritone Keith Phares as Dandini. Conductor Joseph Colaneri absolutely makes sense of Rossini.
Director Kevin Newbury’s 1930s production is over-directed and over-busy, although, admittedly, very funny shtick does happens on stage. Designer Jessica Jahn wins the day with her to-die-for period costumes.
La Cenerentola continues at Glimmerglass Opera until Aug. 23.