Met Live in HD
Opera viewers have officially verified —Joyce DiDonato is indeed Cinderella!
Her ownership of Rossini’s La Cenerentola, and now Massenet’s Cendrillon, might put her in a rare category of sopranos who have sung both operatic roles. Her own fairy tale story of how she found her way through the music business to be one of today’s top opera singers as well as her congeniality is well noted.
We have heard her in so many roles, but it is as Cinderella that she glistens, no matter what different composers make of that character.
Live at the Met in HD with real life humans is no less imaginative then cinema's cartoon Cinderella. The Met’s production Laurent Pelly’s storybook production expands the possibilities of the art with the extravagant fashion couture in brilliant red dresses (like the cover of the book of the Cinderella fairy tale he remembers from his childhood). The procession of the would be consorts in their blazing gowns to meet the prince is a stark contrast to the grim chimneys staging where the prince and the cinder girl will meet in a netherland of their night dreams.
With the book’s characters/Met’s opera stars—fairy godmother La Fee Kathleen Kim, Le Prince Charmante Alice Coote, the wicked stepmother Madame de la Haltière Stephanie Blythe and Laurent Naouri as her father Pandolfe—the dimensions of human emotion as well as the vocal challenges of the opera are well met. As a side note, conductor Bertrand de Billy in his intermission interview said they had worked together before and were like a family.
Close to the end of the opera, Cendrillon wakes up to believe it was a dream, something that her father confirms to her is so and for the audience to ponder for a moment in wait for a spectacular ending.
Indeed, the stunning production is a dream that anyone could wish for.