By Paula Citron
Canadian Opera Company
Composed by Gioacchino Rossini
Conducted by Leonardo Vordoni
Directed by Joan Font
Performed by Elizabeth DeShong, Lawrence Brownlee, Donato DiStefano, Kyle Ketelsen, Brett Polegato, Ileana Montalbetti and Rihab Chaib
Four Seasons Centre
Apr. 23 to May 25, 2011
The COC production of Rossini’s La cenerentola is under-directed. Spanish director Joan Font has some good ideas – like having six dancers as mice – but then doesn’t know what to do with them.
Joan Guillén’s design is also strange. While the costumes are whimsical fairytale, the set is a bleak track of modernism with no definition. It’s like the singers are on the wrong set.
Musically, however, the cast is very strong, and conductor Leonardo Vordoni is impressive in his understanding of Rossini – meaning less is more.
Mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong as Angelina has a gorgeous voice, warm and woody with precision coloratura. Lawrence Brownlee as the Prince has a perfect light lyric tenor with ease of high notes.
Donato DiStefano as Don Magnifico, Kyle Ketelsen as Alidoro, Ileana Montalbetti and Rihab Chaib as the stepsisters, all give good sings. Brett Polegato as Dandini is best when his voice is full throttle.
La cenerentola continues at the Four Seasons Centre until May 25.