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La Cenerentola

La Cenerentola

Gioachino Rossini, while writing the Opera La Cenerentola, had some troubles due to censorship in Rome. In fact, it was decided to stop the libretto Ninetta alla corte, which was taken by Rossini from a french comedy, because it was considered immoral. After the papal censorship intervened, the choice of the subject for the new opera fell on a fairytale by Perrault, Cendrillon ou La petite pantoufle. The theme of social redemption of the innocent girl was quite fashionable at that time, and Gioachino Rossini, who composed this playful drama using verses written by Jacopo Ferretti, decided to eliminate from the story any fairytale references. The fairy and the spell which allow the protagonist to make it to the ball, are replaced by the good benefactor Alidoro. Also the shoe lost by Cenerentola while running from the prince's palace at midnight, is replaced by a bracelet given to Don Ramiro to be able to find her, making innocence and kindness triumph on the sisters' pride.

Synopsis La Cenerentola

In Don Magnifico’s run-down castle, his daughters Clorinda and Tisbe arguing. Their stepsister Angelina, called Cenerentola, serves as the family maid. There is a knock on the door and Alidoro, who’s the tutor of the prince Don Ramiro, enters dressed in very humble clothes. While the stepsisters want to send him away, Cenerentola shows compassion. An announcement is made: the prince will pay a visit as he is looking for a girl to marry. He will hold a ball to choose his bride. Don Magnifico wants one of his daughters to be the lucky one so that the marriage to a wealthy man saves the family fortune. Alidoro has told Ramiro that in Magnifico’s home there is a girl worthy to be a princess. When the room is empty, he enters dressed in his servant’s clothes so he can freely observe. Cenerentola arrives and the two immediately like each other. He asks her who she is, and Cenerentola gives a confused explanation and runs away. Finally, the prince is announced, but he is in fact Ramiro’s valet, Dandini, in disguise. Magnifico, Clorinda, and Tisbe start flattering the fake prince, who invites them to the ball. Cenerentola asks to be taken along but Magnifico denies her permission. Alidoro comes back with information of the presence of a third daughter in the house but Magnifico says that she has died. Once Alidoro is left alone with Cenerentola, he tells her he will take her to the ball. At Ramiro’s house, the fake prince Dandini tells Ramiro his bad opinion on Clorinda and Tisbe and they share the confusion regarding Alidoro’s high opinion on one of Magnifico’s daughter. Clorinda and Tisbe arrive again, having followed Dandini believing him to be the prince. When he offers Ramiro as a husband to the one who will not be chosen by the prince, they are outraged at the idea of marrying a servant. Alidoro arrives with a beautiful unknown lady who looks just likes Cenerentola.

Famous Arias

Una volta c'era un re, Cenerentola' Song

Un soave non so che, Ramiro and Cenerentola's Duet

Come un'ape ne' giorni d'aprile, Dandini's Cavatina

Mi par d'essere sognando, Final

Magnifico fears that the arrival of the beautiful lady might ruin his daughters’ chances to marry the prince. Cenerentola tells Dandini that she is in love with his servant and Ramiro, delighted to hear it, steps forward. Cenerentola tells him that she has to go home and asks him not to follow her but to make an effort at finding her if he really has feelings for her. Meanwhile Magnifico, who still thinks that Dandini is the prince, asks him to make up his mind on which of his daughters he will marry. Dandini reveals the truth about his identity. Magnifico and the sisters return home disappointed and order Cenerentola, who’s back in her usual clothes, to prepare dinner. Alidoro, who knows where Cenerentola lives, pretends that the carriage on which Ramiro is traveling breaks down in front of her house so that the prince will have to ask refuge inside. Cenerentola and Ramiro recognize each other as soon as they meet. At the prince’s palace, Ramiro and Cenerentola celebrate their wedding. Magnifico tries to win the favor of the new princess, but she asks only to be considered as his daughter.

Famous Arias

Sì, ritrovarla io giuro, Ramiro's Aria

Un segreto d'importanza, Dandini and Magnifico's Duet

Siete voi? - Questo è un nodo avviluppato, Sextet

Nacqui all'affanno, Cenerentola's Final Rondò

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