Cinderella | La Cenerentola
By Gioachino Rossine
La Cenerentola (Cinderella) was Gioacchino Rossini’s nineteenth opera and, although supposedly composed in only 24 days, it is full of wit, charm and brilliance. There are dozens of variations of the Cinderella story going back to the seventh century BC Rhodopis. The best known are the French Cendrillon, by Charles Perralt written in 1697 (which introduced the glass slipper and the pumpkin), the German Aschenputtel by the Brothers Grimm in 1815 and, of course, the one most familiar to American audiences, the 1950 Disney animated film. In some versions of the story there is a mean step-mother and in others a mean step-father. Some have fairy godmothers and some have other kinds of magic. Some have gold, some glass slippers and some bracelets. All have in common the story of a persecuted heroine whose graciousness and kindness lead her to a better life.