As part of San Francisco Public Library's partnership with Merola Opera Program, the Art, Music & Recreation department is pleased to screen La Cenerentola with music by the Italian maestro Gioachino Rossini on May 29, 2016, at 1:00 PM in the Main Library's Koret auditorium.
The universally popular story of Cinderella possibly had earlier origins than the version penned by the French writer Charles Perrault upon which Rossini's La Cenerentola is based. Rossini had already won plaudits with his The Barber of Saville when his La Cenerentola premiered in 1817, five years after The Brothers Grimm's telling of the tale.
The reception of La Cenerentola was lukewarm initially, but within short time it considerably gained in popularity.
Rossini's telling of the tale differs from the standard versions of the time in at least two key developments. Instead of the wicked stepmother, Rossini introduced the character of a villainous stepfather. He also replaced the Fairy Godmother with a philosopher. At the age of 25, the maestro completed the opera in three weeks. La Cenerentola is described as full of subtle humor but with sad moments kneaded into the laughs.
San Francisco Public Library carries many books, CDs, and DVDs as well as streaming audio and video relating to the opera and its composer.
Below is a short book list:
Rossini by Gaia Servadio (New York : Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2003).
Understanding Italian Opera by Time Carter (New York, NY :, Oxford University Press, 2015).
Famous Italian opera arias edited and translated by Ellen H. Bleiler (Mineola, NY : Dover Publications, 1996).
Rossini : his life and works by Richard Osborne (Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, c2007).
Evenings at the opera : an exploration of the basic repertoire by Jeffrey Langford (Montclair, NJ : Amadeus Press, c2011).
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