Theatre review: Opera North: Cinderella/ La Cenerentola – The Lowry, Salford

Stepsisters Amy J Payne and Sky Ingram are pictured  with their father played by Henry Waddington. Photo by Alastair Muir
Stepsisters Amy J Payne and Sky Ingram are pictured with their father played by Henry Waddington. Photo by Alastair Muir
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If you are like me and love the idea of opera and just wish it was made a bit more easier to understand – then look no further than Opera North’s thoroughly modern and uplifting performance of Cinderella.

Translation monitors sat easily at each end of the stage at The Lowry in Salford to ensure we could all follow this Italian speaking modern day production of Rossini’s splendid tale.

Promoted by Opera North as part of their dark fairy tale season, Cinderella or La Cenerentola, to give it its Sunday name, could not be more light and fun.

Poor old Angelina or Cinderella to give her nickname (played by Wallis Giunta) has no fairy Godmother to help her achieve her destiny, she just needs to realise how nice she is and that is not easy when your father Don Magnifico (Henry Waddington) has stolen your inheritance and makes you work in his run down dance academy and attend to your stepsisters’ every whim.

Luckily for Cinderella, Prince Ramiro (Sunnyboy Diadia) is looking for a bride and we the audience follow happily as the comical opera unravels and the two are brought together.

The prince’s devoted tutor (John Savournin) is a hoot as he acts as a decoy for the prince, pretending to be the main man as he allows the romance between Ramiro and Cinderella to develop.

The bad step-sisters are played with aplomb by Sky Ingram and Amy J. Payne and have the audience chucking away as they try their best to win the hand of the prince.

Star of the show though is the Pavarotti look-alike Henry Waddington who relishes very minute of his role as Cinderella’s portly father.

The singing is wonderful, the costumes and set bright and bubbly and the humour, like the production, enchanting!

Opera North: Cinderella/ La Cenerentola – The Lowry, Salford. The production is now on tour until March 25th , log onto www.operanorth.co.uk for more information.

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