Scottish Opera set to bring Rossini's La Cenerentola to Edinburgh and Glasgow
Show promises to be an '18th-century funked up' dark comedy based on classic fairytale Cinderella
It is a familiar enough story. The rags to riches Cinderella is the beautiful princess who reaches the dizzy heights of fairytale romance with her handsome prince, leaving her cruel stepmother and two ugly sisters seething in her wake. Opening their 2014-15 season with Rossini’s version of the Cinderella folktale, Scottish Opera’s new production of La Cenerentola is a version which is several shades darker than Disney.
In Sandrine Anglade’s directing debut for the company, the drama unfolds into less familiar territory. ‘It doesn’t have the usual magical elements of the fairy tale,’ says soprano Rebecca Bottone, who sings Clorinda, one of the ugly sisters. ‘It’s more realistic, so that the fairy godmother, for instance, is tutor to the prince. What is also very real is that the wicked stepmother is actually Cinderella’s father, which becomes much more threatening. And the ugly sisters aren’t so much ugly as evil.’
Costumes are, according to Bottone’s description ‘18th-century funked up’, but what impresses her a lot about Anglade’s take on the Cinderella story is the comedy. The singers have been given playful things to do – Bottone’s ‘strutting hip action’ and massive blond wig with obvious root growth for example – and have a lot of fun with the music, but there is also real emotion as part of the main moral of the piece which is that good triumphs over evil. ‘It’s very life-affirming’, she says, ‘particularly in a modern, materialistic society where there is obsession with looks, but these ugly sisters are ugly on the inside.’ Rossini’s music is key to everything. ‘The music is the frontrunner in bringing out all the emotions,’ says Bottone, ‘and it is really descriptive of all of our characters. Victoria Yarovaya’s Angelina is pure X Factor. There’s so much coloratura. It’s totally gorgeous.’
Theatre Royal, Glasgow, Fri 17, Sun 19, Sat 25 Oct; Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, Thu 13, Sun 16, Wed 19, Sat 22 Nov.