Gioacchino Rossini’s opera La Cenerentola is staged by Istanbul State Opera and Ballet at Kadikoy Sureyya Opera House in Italian and subtitled in Turkish. Jacopo Ferretti wrote librettos of La Cenerentola by adapting the story of French writer Charles Perrault’s fairy tale Cendrillon (Cinderella). The opera was first staged in Rome’s Teatro Valle in 1817; and now it is on the stage of Kadıkoy Sureyya Opera House with the direction of Yekta Kara and under the conductorship of Alessandro Cedrone.
La Cenerentola is a modern comedy version of the original fairy tale. It begins with a very long intro, while “Art”, “Peace” and “Love” written slides are reflected on a white curtain. With the ending of the intro white curtain goes up and the stage decor appears. I must say that stage designer Efter Tunç has done a great work. La Cenerentola’s stage decor consists of a white background, black stripes and polka dots, columns with led lights on both right side and left side of the stage and a giant led frame in the middle of everything. Efter Tunç uses pop-art elements in the stage decor. I don’t know why, but this stage decor reminds me the happy and colourful atmosphere of circuses. The transactions between necessary acts are conducted by reflecting animation clips on the white curtain. It is a really different idea and I kind of like it.
Costume designer Şanda Zipçi prefers modern costumes for La Cenerentola but all the costumes are created with a great care. Stepsisters’s dressing gowns with polka dots fit with the stage decor. I especially like Prince Ramiro’s Elvis-like costume along with his electro guitar.
Performances of the opera is amazing. The three female soloists perform almost perfectly, but I especially like Deniz E. Likos’s performance. Aylin Ateş (Angelina a.k.a Cinderella) is really good. The harmony between Sevim Zerenaoğlu (Clorinda) and Deniz Erdoğan Likos (Tisbe) turns listening them to a pleasure. In addition to her delicate voice, Deniz Erdoğan Likos’ acting skill and her usage of mimics and gestures are also amazing. Caner Akın (Don Ramiro) has a magnificent and smooth voice and his performance is very successful. Kenan Dağaşan’s (Alidoro) and Ali İhsan Onat’s (Don Magnifico) performances are a little bit kept in the background, but I have to say that both of them are of course good. I kept my favourite soloist to the end: Kevork Tavityan (Dandini). He is utterly perfect. It is a great pleasure for me to listen and watch him on the stage. He has a marvellous performance in La Cenerentola too as I expected.
The musical performance of La Cenerentola is also good. The composition of the opera, especially the intro part reminds me the melodies of classical Disney princess movies. The orchestra easily accomplishes the fastest and the most difficult parts of La Cenerentola under the conductorship of Alessandro Cedrone. There is a chorus on the stage as the attendants of Prince Ramiro. Their amazing performance can be described as the harmony in chaos. Chorus master Gökçen Koray deserves appreciation for this prosperous chorus.
La Cenerentola is one of the best operas I have ever seen with a great success in all aspects. It is both good for eyes and ears. I think it is worth to see even just for Kevork Tavityan’s performance.