Reviewed by Paula Citron
Massenet’s Cendrillon is the first staged opera at wingless Koerner Hall and it works.
Veteran conductor Uri Mayer and his student orchestra do a superb job bringing out Massenet’s orchestral colour – the filigreed delicacy of the fairies, for example, or the pomp and circumstance of the court. The RCM has also imported the Opera in Concert Chorus for a big sound and comprimario roles. Designer Robert Thompson uses every possible panel lighting for his impressive light show.
Cassandra Warner in the title role shows a clear voice, lovely phrasing, and a strong connection to the text. Adam Bishop’s prince has to find more expression for his pleasant tenor. Erica Warder’s coloratura fairy is controlled and pretty. They lead a strong cast.
Unfortunately, Brent Krysa’s set is lacklustre, while his costumes are nondescript. And what are those hampers all about? The biggest failing is Graham Cozzubbo’s hack direction which fails to follow the text.
Cendrillon continues at Koerner Hall tonight and Thursday.
Royal Conservatory/Glenn Gould School
Composed by Jules Massenet
Conducted by Uri Mayer
Directed by Graham Cozzubbo
Starring Cassandra Warner, Adam Bishop, Philip Kalmanovitch, Erica Warder, Ramona Carmelly, Jennifer Sullivan and Jamie Henigman
Koerner Hall, Mar. 20 to 25, 2010