Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Praise for Cinderella

Miriam Costa-Jackson (Clorinda), Peter Kalman (Don Magnifico), and Maya Gour (Tisbe). Philip Newton photo
"Two exciting casts, a solid score, and staging as speedy as a runaway train: Seattle Opera audiences had a rollicking good time this past weekend with Rossini’s Cinderella."
The Seattle Times

"The audience at Seattle Opera's Cinderella knew from the first note of the overture that this evening was going to be fun."
Seattle Gay News 

"A performance to relish in a production that produced continuous laughs."
Opera Wire

"It's a charming take on a classic tale. Seattle Opera's production of Cinderella brings toe-tapping tunes, bright ensembles, and colorful characters together for an enchanting evening. [The] ultimate rags-to-riches show."

"It’s the concept and imagination of stage director Lindy Hume which makes this production so delicious, ably abetted by production designer Dan Potra, lighting with some wonderful effects by Matthew Marshall and the choreography of associate stage director Dan Pelzig. Not least are the apt supertitles of Jonathan Dean which caught each nuance of the libretto, which might otherwise have been missed, and frequently gained laughs for themselves."

"Wow. Cinderella was phenomenal. Great show, @SeattleOpera. Beautiful performance and good for plenty of laughs too!"
@thybeardedbard via Twitter, opening night 

Ginger Costa-Jackson (Cinderella) Sunny Martini photo
"On opening night, the stage was appropriately stolen by the title character, portrayed by Ginger Costa-Jackson, whose warm and agile mezzo-soprano is an ideal fit for this role. Rossini’s coloratura flourishes and speedy passagework pose no problems for Costa-Jackson, whose voice flows easily from the lower register to well above the staff, without any awkward transitions. She is an appealing actress, lovely to watch, and she riveted Saturday’s opening-night audience from start to finish."
"I already knew how amazing Ginger Costa-Jackson was after seeing opening night of Carmen this past May. She was equally stunning in the role of Cinderella. It was also good fun to see one of her real life sisters, Miriam Costa-Jackson, playing Clorinda, one of the mean stepsisters."
Eclectic Arts

"Mezzo-soprano Ginger Costa-Jackson, in the title role on opening night, has a voice which defies pigeonholing. Her low notes have the organ qualities of an alto, her highest notes and roulades those of a coloratura and her pitch sense is unerring. At the end of each lengthy unaccompanied and acrobatic phrase, she landed true on the note every time and made it all sound easy. With this, she portrayed a gentle, kind and downtrodden young woman in a grey maid’s dress who by the end of the opera has retained the first two attributes and cast off the last." 

Ginger Costa-Jackson (Cinderella) and Michele Angelini (Don Ramiro). Sunny Martini photo
"Michele Angelini, is a bright and agile tenor with more high Cs than a pirate movie, and he was an ardent, engaging suitor for [Costa-Jackson]. His upper range, extending even beyond the high Cs, overlapped the mezzo-soprano register to beautiful effect in their duets. This prince and servant girl made a convincing couple, both musically and dramatically."
The Seattle Times 

"Michele Angelini’s tenor was light and lithe, easy and even, with presence and panache. His coloratura high-jinks were thrilling and tossed off with such apparent ease as to belie the solid technique that made then possible."
Opera Wire

"So entertaining that I will go back again."
—Lola L. via Facebook

"Michele Angelini was an absolute head-turner of a tenor."

Wallis Giunta (Cinderella). Philip Newton photo
"Wallis Giunta sang Cinderella with a beautiful and subtle tone production that seemed to grow in strength to the final scene, which shone with her brilliant passagework and confident high notes."
The Seattle Times 

"All vocal performances were top-notch. As Cinderella, mezzo-soprano Wallis Giunta sang beautifully, carrying off the florid coloratura passages with no apparent effort, and acted with appealing subtlety. Tenor Matthew Grills deployed a smooth, sweet voice befitting a prince. As the valet Dandini, who trades places with the prince for much of the opera, baritone Jonathan Michie showed great comic and vocal skill."
Seattle Gay News 

"I ended up attending Wallis Giunta’s Seattle Opera debut performance—and now I’ve got another favorite mezzo. Her voice was bold, rich, and thoroughly satisfying, giving substance to what has got to be Rossini’s weakest spunky heroine."

"Production designer Dan Potra’s settings were frothy and fun ... Portions of both acts were set in the palace gardens, manicured to a cartoon-like perfection with a forced perspective so comically extreme that the two stepsisters frolicking in their Victorian lawn tennis couture resembled giant air balloons. This entire outdoor sequence had a lively glow, thanks in large part to lighting designer Matthew Marshall."
Matthew Grills (Don Ramiro) and Wallis Giunta (Cinderella). Sunny Martini photo

"Matthew Grills, provided a well-nuanced tenor and a savvy stage sense; his scenes with Cinderella were tender and sensitive enough to make one believe in their 'love at first sight.'" 

"Kudos to production designer Dan Potra and lighting designer Matthew Marshall for a clever, engaging technical production. I particularly enjoyed the send-up of theatrical conventions of scale and perspective."
"Joo Won Kang had the audience laughing as Dandini—the valet that switches outfits/roles with Prince Ramiro to allow the Prince to investigate a future princess undercover."
"Baritone Jonathan Michie was an effective and highly active Dandini."

Jonathan Michie (Dandini), Adam Lau (Alidoro), and Matthew Grills (Don Ramiro). Philip Newton photo

"It's been a pleasure to watch young bass Adam Lau mature through many performances at Seattle Opera. As Alidoro, the prince's tutor and Cinderella's advocate, he sang with assurance, including some spine-tingling high notes (high for a bass, that is)."
Seattle Gay News 

"Adam Lau as Alidoro (sang with) with a rich sonorous bass."

"The visually rich staging is enhanced by the costumes, which capture the nature of each character with exquisite details that might not be visible to the audience without opera glasses, but which contribute to the sense of social class, social function, and individual personality."
Seattle Gay News 

"The charming and imaginative Dan Potra set, featuring a multifaceted emporium owned by Cinderella’s father Don Magnifico, opens and closes and moves to suit the action."

"As always, the chorus members sounded great and threw themselves into challenging choreography and acting, as well. Bravo, guys - and bravo, chorusmaster John Keene."

Seattle Opera's production of Cinderella. Philip Newton photo

"It was so good! It was my first time seeing an opera and it was just fantastic."
—Tom P. via Facebook

"Finally, bravo to Seattle Opera’s indispensable Jonathan Dean, who translates and writes the supertitles projected above the stage, for having one of the wheedling stepsisters calling her prey 'Princykins.' It brought down the house."
The Seattle Times 

"The comic antics of Joo Won Kang as Dandini also hit the mark. He savored every moment in disguise as the Prince and basked in all the luxury and privilege that same crimson velvet suit afforded him. His chummy chemistry with Angelini’s Ramiro was appealing and Kang’s vocal confidence put everyone at ease."
"Great show! I’d highly recommend for a first trip to the opera."
—Stephanie D. via Facebook

"Baritone Peter Kálmán ... unkempt and beer-bellied, is a newcomer to Seattle Opera (as are his daughters), a superbly comic actor with a splendid voice, a sheer delight to watch and hear."

Maya Gour (Tisbe), Peter Kalman (Don Magnifico), and Miriam Costa-Jackson (Clorinda). Philip Newton photo

"The performances that surprised me were those of sopranos Miriam Costa-Jackson and Maya Gour as the mean stepsisters. Their roles demand slapstick acting, which they provided in spades, all the while singing in gorgeous harmony—a difficult combination to pull off."
Seattle Gay News 

"Equally strong were many of the opera’s secondary characters, especially Miriam Costa-Jackson and Maya Gour, naively humorous as Magnifico’s daughters Clorinda and Tisbe. Joo Wong Kang delivered an appropriately subtle balancing act as Dandini, the Prince’s valet who spends much of the opera posing as the prince himself — and a lustful one at that. Adam Lau, who impressed Seattle audiences last season with his portrayal of Kōbun in The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, was solid as Alidoro, whose machinations eventually bring the lovebirds together."
Seen and Heard International

"...the performance tonight was so amazing that it is one of the best, maybe even the best, I ever saw. Thanks again @SeattleOpera."
@MatthieuMEZIL via Twitter, Oct. 20 matinee 

"And there was more good news from the supporting cast: the warmth and dignity of baritone Adam Lau as the wise tutor, Alidoro, a pivotal figure in this show. The uproariously funny father, Don Magnifico, is portrayed with all of his character faults by bass-baritone Péter Kálmán, a rousing good singer with great comic instincts."

Miriam Costa-Jackson (Clorinda), Ginger Costa-Jackson (Cinderella) and Michele Angelini (Don Ramiro). Sunny Martini photo

"Cinderella succeeds not through magic or beauty, but through strength of character. There’s even an intriguing moment at the end when Dandini, having once tasted power in the guise of his boss, tosses his coat over his shoulder, picks up a suitcase, and walks away from servitude."
Gemma Alexander blog 

"Cinderella wove a tale as old as time but in a classic and sophisticated way. My hope is that those that have not attended a Seattle Opera production give this show a chance."

"...the Cinderella conductor, Gary Thor Wedow, is a solid pro whose pacing and musical instincts are always right on target."

"The cast and the music were well served by the orchestra under the direction of Gary Thor Wedow, a frequent and valued guest at Seattle Opera. But it’s perhaps Hume’s staging which takes the prize."

Cinderella plays Oct. 19–Nov. 1, 2019 at McCaw Hall.
Tickets & info: seattleopera.org/cinderella