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Cenerentola (by Calgary Opera Company).

CALGARY

FOLLOWING A LACKLUSTER LA BOHEME IN the fall, the Calgary Opera Company bounced back with a sparkling and witty production of Rossini's La Cenerentola. Much of the credit for the production's success goes to conductor Patrick Summers, whose leadership from the pit provided just the right balance of spiritoso verve and contrasting poignant sentiment, and also to Michael Cavanagh whose lively and endlessly inventive staging was a delight.

The production was greatly helped by the outstanding performance of Peter Strummer, a veteran basso steeped in the Italian buffa tradition, whose every move as Don Magnifico served to enhance the comic drive and pacing of the show. Equally impressive in a different way was newcomer Curt Peterson, whose effortless lyric tenor, florid singing and sheer beauty of tone drew the ear at every turn.

There were strong performances, too, from Jackalyn Pipher (Clorinda) and Marianne Binding (Tisbe) as Cinderella's two unplesant sisters, who milked their roles for the maximum in vocal presence and comic impact. The remaining principals were completely adequate, if somewhat less than completely compelling. Kimberley Barber brought a fetching presence and fundamentally attractive voice to the title role, but the part ultimately requires a virtuoso singer of the Cecilia Bartoli or Jennifer Larmore variety. Nevertheless, her concluding "Non piumesto" was no mean accomplishment.

Baritones Doug MacNaughton (Dandini) and Thomas Goerz (Alidoro) contributed solid, workmanlike performances of their roles, as did the chorus, whose comic staging was another of Cavanagh's notable achievements.
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Copyright 1996 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Kenneth DeLong
Publication:Opera Canada
Date:Jun 22, 1996
Words:244
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