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A beautifully done early opera film of one of Rossini's masterpieces
TheLittleSongbird5 January 2014
La Cenerentola is one of Rossini's best operas, it has a fun, charming story, which admittedly takes a few viewings to completely get(my first exposure to the opera was five years ago and some of the story did confuse me then, not now though), and some of Rossini's most beautiful and most virtuosic music. While not a first choice, Ponnelle's film version gets that honour, this film is beautifully done. It does deserve a better video though the picture is not always sharp enough and the camera work is at times too simple. The sets are pretty and detailed if sometimes with a studio-set look and the costumes are lovely too. The music sparkles with the orchestra playing with such lushness and energetic style while Olivier De Fabrittis's conducting is paced with assurance and flow while not making the technical demands of the music too difficult for the singers. The comedy is always entertaining to watch, never with too much of a stage-bound look. The staging of Magnifico's Dream, in puppet form, is cleverly done and will delight younger audiences. There is English narration too, usually that would be a distraction but for an early film and considering some people mayn't as familiar with the opera(there are changes to the story and it is still magical while also being more complicated) it was a good thing to do. The acting can be broad sometimes but the actors seem to be enjoying themselves, Magnifico is menacing and funny and Cenerentola is a beautiful woman. The singing is top drawer with the standouts being the most experienced ones Fedora Barbieri and Afro Poli, two singers with big-sized and appealing voices that are capable of agility, suited perfectly for comic and dramatic roles(Giuseppe Taddei fits under this distinction as well). Barberi is very charming and expressive while Poli is sly and charismatic with great comic timing. Overall, not a first choice but still beautifully done. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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A cute and enjoyable movie!
David McAnally18 December 1999
This movie is a combination of the non-magical world of Rossini's "La Cenerentola" (Cinderella), and the magical world of the traditional fairy tale of "Cinderella". Alidoro, a magician in the movie, replaces the Fairy Godmother of the traditional fairy tale in being instrumental in getting Cenerentola to the ball at the Prince's palace - and the bracelet (of the opera) replaces the lost slipper of the traditional fairy tale. Don Magnifico's dream, of the flying donkey and the church steeple, is played out in puppet form. The language is Italian, and there is English narration throughout. A cute and enjoyable movie!
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