Wexford Festival Opera 2014
Images from the first performance
Rossini | La Cenerentola
Director's notes: The purple rose of Montefiascone
Are you used to tell fairy-tales to children? If you adhere strictly to the traditional version, without changing or missing a comma, you definitely get the attention of the pestifeous listeners. However, if the heart of a true storyteller beats inside your chest (or if you simply do not remember exactly all the smallest details), then you are in big troubles. Any drift from the sandard path will result in protests, screams, street riots. Because children, in their wonderful innocence, are moralists and conservative to the core (...)
Music director: Greg Ritchey
Director: Roberto Recchia
Set & Costume Designer:Frances White
Lighting Designer: John Crudden
Stage Manager: Emma Doyle
Ramiro: Eamonn Mulhall
Don Magnifico:Davide Bartolucci
Clorinda: Rebecca Goulden
and with Peter O'Donohue, Jon Valender, Ciàran Wootten, Matthew Kellett
Recensioni | Reviews
Online Musik Magazin
Recchia raggiunge uno dei punti culminanti del Festival
A master-class in how to mount an opera with just a tatty chair and a cinema reel to set the scene.
In addition to the three main-stage production, WFO offered its usual complement of concerts, recitals and Short Works. The latter were housed in White’s Hotel this year, and while there were clearly economic restraints operating, the varied repertory performed was no less rewarding. Best of the bunch was director Robert Recchia’s witty version of Rossini’s La Cenerentola (25th October) — a master-class in how to mount an opera with just a tatty chair and cinema reel to set the scene. Recchia demonstrated his creative ingenuity last year, with a L’elisir d’amore that I described as ‘ingenious, transferring the action to a modern-day Irish Karaoke bar — one of the virtues of which was to provide a naturalistic raison d’être for surtitles!’ Recchia made use of visual media again, but if he might be accused of pursuing a single idea, he certainly justified his approach, setting Rossini’s ‘fairy-tale’ in the very prosaic world of 1930s cinema and utterly convincing with his ‘concept’. Don Magnifico — an ebullient Davide Bartolucci — is the proprietor of Magnifico’s motion picture emporium, his daughters Clorinda and Tisbe are rather over-dressed usherettes, while Angelina — Rossini’s ‘Cinders’ — sweeps the aisles. Stepping through the video-projections, the characters persuasively move between reality and artifice.
In the title role, Kate Allen revealed a strikingly rich mezzo register, the ability to climb to the stratosphere, and astonishing flexibility and accuracy in the virtuosic coloratura: a diva in the making. Rebecca Goulden (Clorinda) and Kristin Finnigan (Tisbe) gave engaging performances, while Eamonn Mulhall was an appealing Prince Ramiro, his tenor soft and caressing, and his upper register secure and unforced. Filippo Fontana made another welcome appearance as Dandini, and the male quartet which formed the chorus (tenors Peter O’Donohue and Jon Valender, and baritones Ciarán Wootten and Matthew Kellett) were efficiently marshalled by Recchio. At the keyboard, music director Gregory Ritchey negotiated the fistfuls of notes — although occasionally his impetuous singers left him straggling — and as Rossini morphed effortlessly into 1940s be-bop, one might be forgiven for thinking that one had imbibed too much of Ramiro’s champagne!
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Recchia’s way of showing that Rossini’s comic operas are at their best
A dramma giocoso by Rossini is as distinctive as a ShortWork directed by Roberto Recchia, one of the great unsung heroes of Wexford Festival Opera in the 21st century who, year after year, takes an old work and turns it on its head.