Rossini: La Cenerentola / Zedda, Didonato, Et Al

Regular price $24.99
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Although the whole performance is top-notch, the main reason for owning this Cenerentola is the warm, delightfully human, and stunningly sung Cinderella of Joyce DiDonato. There is no paucity of fine, recorded Cenerentolas (Bartoli, Larmore, Baltsa), but DiDonato, an under-recorded American mezzo, catches precisely the right tone of vulnerability and goodness in the character while never stinting on the coloratura fireworks we expect from the role. She's always in character--modest and kind; it's a beautiful, understated portrayal.

The rest of the cast is excellent as well. José Manuel Zapata's slim tenor may not have the ping of a Vargas or the brilliance of Florez, but he's got all the "little notes" needed for the Prince and is unafraid of heights. Paolo Bordogna's Dandini is well sung, but the voice has a fast vibrato that may not agree with everyone, and Bruno Pratico's Don Magnifico articulates every single note and refrains from mugging--a good combination. The sisters are nicely characterized by Patrizia Cigna and Martina Borst, and bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni delivers Alidoro's music, including the aria Rossini added for him in 1820, with a good tonal center and dignity.

Conductor Alberto Zedda includes a brief chorus penned by another composer at the start of Act 2, and he leads with suavity if just a bit less flair and energy than this opera seems to want. The orchestra and chorus are good enough. The first CD ends at an awkward spot, but had the offending few minutes been added to the second CD it would have reached a dangerously long 80 minutes and three seconds. (It would have been easier if the extra chorus had been cut!) Bicker, bicker--this is an excellent performance, at a great bargain price.
--Robert Levine,

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: 8660191-92

  • UPC: 730099619127

  • Label: Naxos

  • Composer: Gioachino Rossini

  • Conductor: Alberto Zedda

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Prague Chamber Chorus, Southwest German Radio Orchestra Kaiserslautern

  • Performer: Bruno Praticò, José Manuel Zapata, Joyce DiDonato, Luca Pisaroni, Marco Bellei, Martina Borst, Paolo Bordogna, Patrizia Cigna