When Gioachino Rossini and Jacopo Ferretti whipped up their operatic retelling of Cinderella, they gave us a madcap masterpiece that is one of the zaniest and most beguiling versions of this ancient tale.
Director Tom Diamond and designer Judith Bowden have set Pacific Opera Victoria's production in the fairy tale days of yore. Cinderella, her sisters, and the Prince will walk right out of a storybook fantasy in a captivating production that makes the most of Rossini's irrepressible humour and quicksilver music.
Above: Judith Bowden's design for Don Magnifico's house brings to life the beloved story of Cinderella.
Judith's designs have been seen at major theatres across Canada, including the Shaw Festival, Tarragon Theatre, Soulpepper Theatre, and the National Arts Centre. She makes her POV debut with Cinderella.
Renowned opera director Tom Diamond returns to direct this, his sixth POV production. He has directed nine productions with the Canadian Opera Company, has been a judge on Bathroom Divas, and is resident director and dramaturg at Tapestry New Opera Works.
Above: The enchanting set has all the delicate exuberance of a giant pop-up book. Here is Judith Bowden's charming design for the carriage. The set is being built in POV's Opera Shop by our team of production artists.
At right: Judith Bowden's design for Cinderella's ball gown – fit for a fairy tale princess!
When Rossini and Ferretti refashioned Cinderella as an opera, they named their heroine Angelina. Making her POV debut in the role of Angelina is mezzo soprano Julie Boulianne, who has already distinguished herself as Angelina at Glimmerglass Opera, Aspen Opera Theater, and Florida Grand Opera.
In 2011 Julie will make her Metropolitan Opera debut; she'll perform Diane in Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride and Stéphano in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette, the latter conducted by Placido Domingo.
Julie has also sung that other Cinderella – Massenet's Cendrillon – at l'Opéra de Marseille and l'Opéra de Montréal.
Above: Judith Bowden's costume sketches for the two selfish stepsisters.
At left is Tisbe in her at-home gown. The role of Tisbe will be played by Marion Newman, who grew up in Victoria and now has an international career. She has performed in the Czech Republic, Ireland, Germany and Italy, and has four times been a soloist on CBC's National Aboriginal Achievement Awards.
At right, Clorinda is all decked out in her fancy ballgown, and on the hunt for Prince Charming. Performing the role of Clorinda will be Marianne Lambert, an alumna of l'Atelier lyrique de l'Opéra de Montréal. Marianne won the 2008 Grand Prix at the Concours international de Marmande in France, and has performed with Opéra de Rennes, Opéra de Metz, and Jeunesses Musicales du Canada.
Above: two avatars of Dandini, Prince Ramiro's valet.
At left, disguised as the prince, Dandini pompously throws his weight around. On the right, he's back in uniform – while the real prince gets the girl. Dandini will be performed by BC born baritone Tyler Duncan, whose career in oratorio, art song, and early music has taken him to Berlin, Munich, Rotterdam and San Francisco.