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Back at the run-down castle, Don Magnifico is a little shaken but basically convinced one of the uglies will eventually make him the prince's father-in-law. They are again struck by the likeness between the unknown lady at the ball and the Cinderella once more in rags and singing her favourite sing by the kitchen stove. An orchestral storm, worthy son-in-law to Beethoven's in the Pastoral Symphony, ensures that Prince Ramiro's carriage halts outside the castle and that he himself seeks shelter there. The uglies and the father are at their usual game of abusing Cinderella when Ramiro bids them cease insulting his beloved [watch and listen -- DVD2 chapter 13, 40:22-41:25].

Carla Di Censo (Clorinda), Paola Gardina (Tisbe) and Alfonso Antoniozzi (Don Magnifico). Screenshot © 2006 RAI Trade
Carla Di Censo (Clorinda), Paola Gardina (Tisbe) and Alfonso Antoniozzi (Don Magnifico). Screenshot © 2006 RAI Trade

The Carlo Felice chorus reacts with such obvious platitudes as 'Fortune's a fickle jade' and 'Pride comes before a fall', but puts them across with so much relish the uglies are swept utterly aside and one knows the court vintner will need the imbibing of many more barrels before he can recover from such a reverse [watch and listen -- DVD2 chapter 16, 51:21-52:36]. Yet in the end it is Cinderella's generosity that prevails, as she pleads forgiveness from her future husband for her tormentors. It should be the more readily granted, if only because they have performed with such aplomb throughout Rossini's exacting score. How many of the characters will live happily ever after is anyone's guess [watch and listen -- DVD2 chapter 18, 60:44-61:44].

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Copyright © 26 December 2007 Robert Anderson, Cairo, Egypt


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