Fairy Tale Cenerentola at Teatro Colón

ArgentinaArgentina  Rossini, La Cenerentola: Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra of Teatro Colón. Conductor: Reinaldo Censabella, Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires. 28.9.2012. (JSJ)

Director: Sergio Renán
Sets: Emilio Basaldúa
Costumes: Gino Bogani
Lighting: Eli Sirilin
Videos: Álvaro Luna
Chorus: Peter Burian
Choreography: Diana Theocharidis

Angelina: Serena Malfi / Guadalupe Barrientos
Don Ramiro: Kenneth Tarver / Gustavo de Gennaro
Dandini: Aris Argiris / Gustavo Gibert
Don Magnifico: Carlo Lepore / Luciano Miotto
Clorinda: Marisú Pavón / Marina Silva
Thisbe: Florencia Machado / Mónica Sardi
Alidoro: Carlos Esquivel / Omar Carrión

Keneth Tarver (Don Ramiro), Serena Malfi (Angelina) and Aris Argiris (Dandini) in La Cenerentola at Teatro Colón. (Photo Teatro Colón)

As one of the best known fairy tales, how better to present La Cenerentola – Cinderella (or Cenicienta in Spanish) – than in a fairy tale setting? And in this new production at the Teatro Colón from an outstanding local team, including director Sergio Renán, scenographer Emilio Basaldúa and couturier Gino Bogani, this made for a rich and absorbing experience.

Set in the time of Rossini, the work was presented as if off the pages of a book, with projection focussing on for example the faces of the singers in key moments. This was further enhanced with the well conceived scenery on a rotating stage, making for rapid scene changes. A nice touch was the two mice, who listened intently to Angelina’s ‘Una volta c’era un re’. But there were also some twists, such as the projection of a (1920s?) car journey during the storm in Act 2, which was at odds with the broader schema.

All of this was supported by a strong and able cast, with the principals all debuting in Argentina. Italian Serena Malfi, despite her relatively young age (born 1985), was a well conceived Angelina with good tone, and compatriot Carol Lepore brought humour and substance to the role of Don Magnifico. Greek baritone Aris Argiris was an agreeable Dandini, while the Denver-born Kenneth Tarver, although the lightest vocally, more than compensated with his stylish Don Ramiro.

Marisú Pavón and Florencia Machado made the most of the two ugly sisters Clorinda and Thisbe, and Carlos Esquivel was a sound and appropriately eccentric teacher looking Alindoro.

The orchestra was in good form under Reinaldo Censabella, and from the slow opening bars the tempi were well judged, while the chorus also pleased.


Jonathan Spencer Jones