La Cenerentola – Gioacchino Rossini

I’ve only seen a handful of operas and most of them I could have done without, yet this version of the Cinderella story was delightful. Filmed during a performance at the Vienna State Opera, I was highly impressed by the sets and clever use of props (There is a scene with a carriage racing through the rain that, for all its low tech restrictions, was so masterfully done that it left me cheering.). Typical of the art form, the performers don’t always visually match their characters, but the masterful singing and hilarious writing facilitated suspension of disbelief. Rossini layers his actors’ musical scenes for great results; however, he has a tendency to draw out some parts too much and made Cinderella ridiculously saccharine.