When less is more
One reason it is hard to build audiences for Rossini in the US is lack of resources and the belief that there has to have a sizable budget to mount something grand. Professional musicians (though usually underpaid) do not come cheap. But the picture is not so bleak because there are are community and university-based groups who can and do fill the void. Attending such performances can have its rewards, one hears something new, one appreciates and finally one supports groups which may develop professional opera singers, and at a minimum help develop core audiences for “neglected” masterpieces.
Recently a group at MIT performed La Cenerentola, not the easiest of Rossini’s operas to tackle. They did it with devotion and commitment and the rewards for the listener were many. Not having an orchestra at their disposal, they enlisted and very fine pianist who tackled the piano reduction of the score with amazing skill and enthusiasm. Not having a “conductor” or prompter, they miraculously delivered the sextet with no “flubs” and superb timing which is what is needed to pull off the brilliance of this piece. And, lastly, they sang as though the words mattered. Not “burdened” with a director /production whose ideas might not be in harmony with those of the composer and librettist, they seem to have found their guidance solely from the music and the text. What a refreshing experience for the audience. More of this, please.
The cast was gracious enough to pose for a picture after the performance. From left to right: Reidyn Wingate, Jakob C. Dahl, Carles Boix, Grace Anderson, Allison Hamilos, Srini Raghuraman, Aditya Raguram, Lani Lee, and Ruofei Jia.
We are posting the program notes so that you can read about them and this wonderful project.La Cenerentola Program Notes (1)
Used with permission.