GP at the Met: La Cenerentola
Preview of La Cenerentola

Over the centuries, the story of Cinderella and her cruel stepmother and ugly stepsisters has been interpreted in countless ways across different genres. Gioachino Rossini’s La Cenerentola is perhaps the most famous operatic version of the Cinderella story, and it is like no other interpretation. This opera has no fairy godmother, no pumpkin that turns into a carriage, and no glass slipper. However, unlike most other operas, it has a happy ending. The production is rated TV-PG and will air on Great Performances at the Met in HD on Saturday, August 15 at Noon on PBS (check local listings) and on WNET/THIRTEEN on Thursday, August 20 at 9 p.m.

Watch a preview below:

Mezzo soprano Elīna Garaňca, who played Rosina in another one of Rossini’s operas, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, now claims the role of the title heroine in La Cenerentola; her Prince Charming is played by Lawrence Brownlee. “It’s actually a coincidence that I’m returning in another of Rossini’s works,” admits Garaňca. Of the opera’s most memorable coloratura showpiece, “Nacqui alľ affanno,” Garaňca says “for me it’s the Olympics – adrenaline at its highest. To get through it, I must switch on all the buttons in the computer in my head and body.”

Italian opera in the early 19th century focused heavily on the range, inflection, and tone of the human voice; this style became known as “bel canto,” or “beautiful singing.” While many opera singers tried to wow audiences by improvising with this technique and adding trills and lilts to their singing, Rossini’s operas, especially La Cenerentola, had bel canto already built right into the scores.

Great Performances at the Met: La Cenerentola is the tenth of 11 productions airing this season on the series. The performance is sung in Italian with English surtitles. Maestro Maurizio Benini conducts, as veteran baritone Alessandro Corbelli demonstrates his impeccable comic timing to match the gravitas of Met favorite John Relyea; the librettist is Jacopo Ferretti.

Great Performances is funded by the Irene Diamond Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, public television viewers, and PBS. Corporate support for Great Performances at the Met is provided by Toll Brothers.

Briccetti and Victoria Warivonchik are Producers. Peter Gelb is Executive Producer. For Great Performances, Bill O’Donnell is Series Producer; David Horn is Executive Producer.

  • Jill Plumbley

    This performance of La Cenerentola doesn’t seem to be on in Seattle/Vancouver as posted on Aug. 15th. When will it be shown?

  • K

    Please! Please! Let us know when this will be on in Clearwater FL./Tampa Bay Area. If I miss this it will be so upsetting.

  • Angeline von Fuchs

    This performance of La Cenerentola doesn’t seem to be on in Seattle/Vancouver as posted on Aug. 15th. When will it be shown?

  • Patrick Smith

    What a delightful Cinderella…please tell me how
    this fantastic soprano got through that long and
    difficult final aria…a real feat in every way.

  • Bob Hornstein

    An incredible afternoon for my wife and me. Miss Garanca was suberb as was the entire cast and especially the Father. Wow and thanks KPBS..Can’t wait for the next opera performance.

  • Vi Mooberry

    What a delight! I smiled, laughed, and applauded throughout this fantastic performance! Thank you KPBS for allowing us to share in this wonderful event!

  • Patricia Peterson

    I missed it due the terrible programming at KPBS San Diego, and I’m mad, mad, mad! I hate you KPBS!

  • Frank Gallo

    I just happened across this wonderful performance and I was very happy I did. Miss Garanca was superb, delightful as was the rest of the cast. I am sure that Senor Rosinni just loved the whole thing. Thank you for making my day.

  • Francisco

    WEDU Tampa will be airing it: Sun 8/23 at 3pm

    So far I don’t see it scheduled on KCTS Seattle at anytime in August.

  • Marsha

    Lawrence Brownlee is absolute vocal perfection! His voice is right up there with Gedda, Pavarotti, and Domingo! I can’t wait to see/hear him in more roles!

  • Phil

    What a wonderful, musically mesmerizing viewing on WNET on a hot,humid “indoor” evening. Garanca & Brownlee-superb performers. Would love to view this over & over again. Will this ever be offered on DVD for puchase???? Please, please consider & with original performers too……

  • Nan

    What a wonderful performance. I was never a big fan of the program or the opera in general, but I was captivated and love to purchase it on DVD or a CD. I’m sorry to say that I only watched the program when I happen to come across it while I was surfing channels, but now I’m really interested to see more of the performance from the cast and explore more in the are of opera. Thank you very much for broadcasting the program. I will be looking forward to the next program. : )

  • John & Maria

    On a dull and downright evening yesterday we tuned in to PBS – with a dull programming announced – and got Cerentella insead. Delighted we stayed with it all the way. Incredible performance. How can we read more about the cast?
    The TOTAL ensemble was superb, music, setup, ALL.
    The dull day turned into a delightful night.

  • John & Maria

    Ha ha: I wrote a typo, Cerentella, instead of
    Cenerentola for Cinderella.
    It was just the same delightful, no matter what you call it. Thanks and please: more details than that unreadable exit-rush of names.

  • Beth

    I watched this on WNET last night and was blown away by the performances. Bravo!

  • Rachel

    Spent a delightful afternoon watching with my 4 year old daughter, who was enraptured by Elīna Garaňca and charmed by the wonderful comic performances by stepsisters Rachelle Durkin and Patricia Risley. BRAVA!

  • illona

    wonderful performances by Garanca and Brownlee. I hope to see more of Brownlee. What a voice! What else has he appeared?

  • Mary Jo Willis

    Thoroughly enjoyed and chuckled a lot at the Met’s rendition of Rossini’s “La Cenerentola” today. Ms.Garanca and Mr. Brownlee were excellent choices for the main artists and the other vocalists showed amazing strength of voice as well as excellent acting abilities. Thanks PBS and OPB here in Oregon.

  • Chibueze Iroakazi

    I missed the majority of this performance–I only saw the last lap. Will it be repeated any time soon in the NY area programing? If not, is the DVD on sale?

  • Rosemarie

    Loved every minute! My husband found it accidentally while I was out – it wasn’t listed in the program guide. Unfortunately it was on at the same time as the last Tanglewood performance this afternoon – my favorite Beethoven’s 9th, but I’m glad I stayed with PBS.


    My wife Vivian and I were entranced by La Cenerentola in a broadcast aired this past Sunday (August 23). We had never before seen the two principals nor the father but were wholly delighted with their performances and astounding voices. Rossini’s magnificent music deserves its reputation.

  • Stan McBride

    I have seen several versions of La Cenerentola, including cecilia bartoli, and a previous version with Mr Brownlee. I loved them all, but Ms Garanca is absolutely breathtaking. Beautiful woman and beautiful voice. It remains in my top 3 favorite operas. Thanks pbs.

  • Sasha

    I’ve been looking forward to the broadcast, set it up to be taped, but there’s nothing on my DVR. Was it just my DVR’s glitch or did something happen to the listings in the Boston area? Will it be rebroadcast? I don’t see it on the Sept 5-6 marathon listing…

  • Bob Brown

    I happened to catch this performance while surfing the TV and what a finding!! I watched it to the very end, enjoying all the performers, and particuarly the voice of Lawrence Brownlee. Hope its available in DVD.

  • Sue Peace

    The ensembles were breathtaking-literally. the diction was incredible, but most of all, it was a beautiful performance ai chanced upon. Ms Garanca’s voice, is amazing and rich. Please make this production available on DVD.

  • carmela

    Brownlee’s voice reminds me of Benjamino Gilli’s beautiful voice. The whole cast was extremely wonderful. Thank you all.

    Brownlee’s voice reminded me of Benjamino Gilli’s beautiful voice. The whole production was wonderful. Thank you for a great afternoon.

  • richard jacobson

    Just saw this and can’t wait to see it again. Anyone know when it will be on in the L.A. Area. Will the DVD be available?

  • Tim Abbadusky

    Will La Cenerentola (w/Ms. Garanca, of course!) be available in DVD at a later date?

  • Jan Wilson

    I, too, would like this on DVD. How do we find out if & when it will be available? It was just wonderful!

  • jim

    When will it be on again in Syracuse?

  • Jean-François

    It will be available on january 11, 2010 on DVD

  • Jack Swindells

    Cenerentola from the Met on Sky Arts 2 -what a breathtaking peformance, especially that of Elina Garanca. I’ve seen scores of operas, both live and on television, but this beats the lot. I can’t wait until 11 January for the DVD.

  • Anibal Salazar

    Ms. Garanca Brava Bravisima, great cast

  • Ben Rubicam

    Today Sunday Jan. 10th. I watched KQED San Francisco. Beautiful performance! I would love to have DVD. Pls advise.

  • K Meissner

    Loved, loved, loved this performance. Please advise if available on DVD.

  • John

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