Singer is entrancing in a demanding role
By Wayne Lee Gay
Star-Telegram Classical Music Critic
After a weak start with Bizet's Carmen and a strong comeback with Janacek's Jenufa, Dallas Opera was on track for Rossini's La Cenerentola, or Cinderella, which opened Friday evening at Fair Park Music Hall.
Rossini and his early 19th-century collaborators had a slightly different take on the tale of the servant girl who marries a prince. There's a stupid stepfather instead of a mean stepmother, and there's a blind beggar who is actually an adviser to the prince instead of a fairy godmother. And there's no magic.
Rossini decorated this charming tale with some of his most skillful, appealing and well-crafted music; the only reason this masterpiece isn't done more often is that the title role demands that rarest of operatic birds, the bel canto mezzo-soprano, a female singer who combines a rich, low range with the agility to perform the rapid-fire trills and ornaments.
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