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La Cenerentola Rossini

One of the winter’s intriguing fixtures was this match between ultra-serious Norwegian director Stefan Herheim and Italian prankster Gioachino Rossini. Would Herheim’s sophisticated technique prove too much for the quicksilver lad from Pesaro and his dashed-off schedule-filler?

NORWEGIAN NATIONAL OPERA OSLO

Norway

Music *****

Staging *****

Happily, the boys were playing on the same team, and the result in this Cenerentola was exhilarating, musically and dramatically, as composer and director entwined with gleeful intricacy. Still, Herheim’s approach was risky: a bunch of meta-theatrical tropes of so-lastcentury kind, but done with bottomless wit and energy and depth (and money and rehearsal time).

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About Opera Now

Christophe Rousset celebrates a quarter century at the forefront of the Early Music scene with Les Talens Lyriques; Sir John Eliot Gardiner takes Monteverdi’s three surviving operas on tour around the world; and our guide to the brightest and best opera festivals of 2017. Plus, remembering the velvet voice of Swedish tenor Nicolai Gedda; individuality and imagination in the songs of Arthur Sullivan; Debussy’s ravishing Pelléas lets down its hair at Garsington; American baritone Scott Hendricks shares his love of playing bad boys; the art of the librettist; British conductor Nicholas Chalmers; and an 80th birthday tribute to Grace Bumbry.