Submissions are closed for the Cinderella Outfit Challenge, but the five finalists are yet to be determined. Between now and midnight on Wednesday April 6, every vote counts. The level of quality and creativity displayed in the 60 entries we received has exceeded all our expectations, and I wish we could have 20 finalists or more instead of five, the number we settled on when setting up the contest. All this is to say, go take a look at the entries and vote for some of them! You can vote for as many entries as you like, just not the same entry more than once.
Posted by Cecily Carver / in 2010/2011 / comments (0) / permalink
Our upcoming production of Cinderella (La Cenerentola) is very well-travelled, and that means that it's also well-documented. The production imagery currently on our website is from Houston Grand Opera's premiere of the production in 2007; there's also a full DVD recording (Decca label) of a 2008 performance at Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona that's available for sale in our Opera Shop. If you want a preview of what you'll see on stage this spring (or if you don't like surprises), some scenes from the DVD can be found on YouTube. Although our cast is different, the sets, costumes, and most of the staging will be the same.
Here are a few choice scenes:
Ariadne auf Naxos is made up of two very different parts: the Prologue, a story about a group of theatrical performers preparing to put on a play; and then the main event, the play itself (think Pagliacci or Andy Hardy—here's the synopsis if that sounds confusing). This duality means that most of the cast is playing two roles: the character's "backstage" self, and their "onstage" self, each with a different costume. At left, the production's Harlequin costume ties into a long tradition of comic stage performers, but this opera never lets the audience forget that underneath the costume is an actor playing a part. All designs here were created by set and costume designer Dale Ferguson.
In this production of Ariadne auf Naxos, which was first performed in 2004 by Welsh National Opera, the "backstage" part of the opera is set in the present day. For the second part of the opera (the story of Ariadne, with some hastily-added comic relief), director Neil Armfield wanted to create a setting that was "as beautiful and simple as it was possible for our powers to achieve": soft and dreamlike, with ethereal lighting effects. You can see some photos from the 2004 WNO production here.
For an example of how this works, let's look at the costumes for the Prima Donna/Ariadne. This character is a famous opera singer slated to play the role of the noble Ariadne, the ancient Greek heroine who falls in love with Theseus, helps him defeat the minotaur, and is later abandoned by him on the island of Naxos.
Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001