This Bolognese Cinderella seemed born under a bad star. Canceled from the programming in March 2020 due to the pandemic, it was rescheduled in December of this year, however, running the risk of seeing the "first" canceled for a general strike, to which the lack of a compact participation allowed the play to take place. Fortunately, I would add, because, beyond the judgment that each of us can give to the participation or not in the strike, it was a very pleasant evening.
And to make it pleasant is first of all a homogeneous cast, almost all Sicilian (Amarù, Alaimo, Taormina, Siragusa), but above all up to their respective roles.
Chiara Amarù is an excellent protagonist. Pleasant voice that expands with ease, extended, agile, Excels in fast coloring, but is able to color the love phrases, shows off a beautiful legacy, knows how to emphasize the melancholy and palpitations of the character. And in the end he faces the planned fireworks with great confidence, indeed with bravado, earning us a very warm success.
Nicola Alaimo,after the paradigmatic Florentine Falstaff, inhales another performance of considerable importance. His histrionic Dandini (said in a good way), but never too over the top, dominates the stage with his charismatic presence and his wide and well-stamped voice. Phraser of great class manages to conquer the public even with harmless recitative phrases. Just his "But therefore I am an ex" said with irony, without a shadow of gigionism, to make the smile on the lips of the audience bloom. And all this completely overshadows a few steps of coloratura not perfectly oiled.
Vincenzo Taormina draws a Don Magnifico very far from both the grim magniloquence of a Montarsolo, and from the ironic character, at the tip of a fork, with surreal cues, designed by Enzo Dara, as well as by the gruff, poisonous one of Corbelli. His Baron a bit 'amused, at times a little' feminine (see his "I go in fainting" deliberately said with a birignao worthy of Tina Lattanzi) is devoid of the arrogance of the noble nobleman bad and unscrupulous that we are used to seeing. The comparison with Dandini ("A secret of importance") sees him psychologically subjugated, with the endorsement also of the vocal color (clearer that of Taormina, burnished that of Alaimo, with the addition of the overwhelming stage presence of the latter). And it is precisely this unusual angle that makes this moment hilarious with its catching the viewer off guard. Of course, in some moments, especially in some passages of the arias, the lack of a stamp of greater impact and a certain lack of tightness are felt, while never lacking the stylistic property and consistency in the definition of the character.
Antonino Siragusa,in his career for five decades, confirms himself as a navigated Ramiro, very sure in the song of grace as in that of strength, even if some treble, very sonorous, appear perhaps too "shot" for Rossini's writing, indeed even insolent; I think that's why the tenor from Messina collects at the final exits an isolated dispute, in my opinion absolutely out of place.
The role of Alidoro has rather sui generis characteristics, so much so that I make him appear as a kind of Queen of the bass night. This has two arias of diabolical difficulty, as diabolical is the character, and for the rest has only spoken recitatives and a very short piece of the whole. The master of Don Ramiro has some recitatives and participates in some pieces not particularly rewarding for a first bass. But in the seventh scene of the first act there is "Là del ciel", written by Rossini in 1820 for Gioacchino Moncada, a very beautiful aria and a kind of vocal roller coaster. So difficult that in all editions of the opera until the end of the sixties of the twentieth century instead of this piece was performed "Vasto teatro è il mondo" composed by Luca Agolini on behalf of the composer from Pesaro for the world premiere of Cinderella and much more affordable. With the revision of Alberto Zedda and with the performances of Claudio Abbado "Là del ciel nell'arcano profondo" he became a permanent part of the representations of the opera, with the executive problems that this choice entails. In this edition Alidoro is Gabriele Sagona,who faces with professionalism and his beautiful voice all the rocks, sometimes playing in defense, but coming out overall with his head held high. Which is no small thing.
Sonia Ciani (Clorinda) and Aloisa Aisemberg (Tisbe) were over-the-top stepsisters (so the director wanted them), the first with a smoother emission, the second more tense in search of the effect even at the expense of vocal cleanliness.
On the podium Nikolas Nägele confirmed and reinforced the good impression received, always in Bologna, on the occasion of the Italian in Algiers in 2019(see review). Without prejudice to the stylistic correctness, the cleanliness of the sound (even if the Orchestra of the Teatro Comunale di Bologna could not be said at its best) and the ability to support the singers without ever prevaricating them, the German conductor seems to me to have acquired greater authority and even greater fluency in unraveling among the rhythms and atmospheres of Rossini, knowing how to grasp the particular melancholy that runs through the work like a light cloud in a clear sky.
Well the Choir of the Teatro Comunale under the guidance of Gea Garatti Ansini.
Federico Gagliardi resumed the direction of Emma Dante,already seen in Rome in 2016(see review by Michelangelo Pecoraro),with scenes by Carmine Maringola,costumes by Vanessa Sannino,lights by Cristian Zucaro and choreographic movements by Manuela Lo Sicco.
For details of the visual part I refer to the review just linked. For my part I will say that I found the "dark comic" particularly guessed with the alternation of "black" moments with others really poetic and the recovery seemed very faithful to me, even with some adjustments (but I saw the original show only in video); then the artists of the Bolognese representation brought the added value of very different personalities; something that especially in the cases of the characters of Don Magnifico and Dandini gave way to settings quite different from the originals. To be praised in bulk all the actors-mimes-dancers.
At the end very warm and quite prolonged success for all the creators of the musical part (in particular for Chiara Amarù and Nicola Alaimo), to the mimes, while no trace of Emma Dante was seen (as was predictable not being a "first") nor of her collaborators.