La Cenerentola: Performance History

First representation

Teatro Valle, Rome (25 january 1817)


Press reports of the premiere were favorable, and tell of a success of the opera but of a tepid reception of the interpreters (with the exception of Ms. Giorgi). Jacopo Ferretti in his memoires speaks of a "fiasco", mostly because there was nearly no applause during the performance. Even if he exaggerated the coolness of the first performance his report is worth reading:

During these first, stormy evenings, only a few pieces could escape the failure: the largo and stretta of the quintet, the final rondò and the sublime largo of the sextet, all the rest being ignored and sometimes even booed. But Rossini remembered the ephemeral collapse of Il Barbiere di Siviglia and was aware of the amount of pure magic he had written for La Cenerentola. The next day I was still in shock and depressed over the fiasco, but he said to me with firm assurance: "You fool! The carnival will not be over before everyone is in love with it. Before a year has gone by it will be sung by everyone, everywhere in Italy, and in two years it will enchant French and amaze English audiences. Theater managers will fight for it, and even more will the primadonnas."

So it happened. And the same city of Rome that had at first disapproved, during the last days of Carnival was drunk with it and from then on applauded it frenziedly. (Italian Text)

Indeed, its acceptance was no less than triumphal after only a few performances, and similar successes followed its stagings in other Italian theatres, first at the Teatro alla Scala of Milan, where La Cenerentola was staged in the year 1817 with scenery by the famous Sanquirico.

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This page last revised 20 February 1996