ROSSINI: La Cenerentola

First Performance: 25 January 1817, Teatro Valle, Rome.

Principal Characters:
Cenerentola (Angelina), Don Magnifico’s step-daughter Contralto
Don Ramiro, Prince of Salerno Tenor
Dandini, valet to Don Ramiro Bass
Don Magnifico, Baron of Monte Fiascone Baritone
Clorinda, his daughter Soprano
Tisbe, his daughter Mezzo-Soprano
Alidoro, a philosopher, tutor to Don Ramiro Bass

Setting: Don Magnifico’s mansion and the court of
Don Ramiro


Act I

Don Magnifico’s palace.

Introduction: “No, no, no, no: non v’Ë”: Baron Don Magnifico lives here
with his daughters Clorinda and Tisbe and his stepdaughter Angelina, known as
Cenerentola (Cinderella). The stepfather has cheated her out of her entire
fortune, and keeps her in the house as a scullery maid.

Alidoro, the tutor and confidant of the local Prince, Don Ramiro, is
looking for a suitable bride of equal rank and station for his protÈgÈ.
Disguised as a beggar, he discovers how generous Cenerentola is, and how
heartless her two sisters are. Some noblemen arrive to tell them that the
prince is entertaining thoughts of marriage, and they invite all the young
ladies in the land to his castle.

Recitative and cavatina: “Miei rampolli feminini” The two sisters are
madly excited over the invitation to the castle, as is their father. Don
Magnifico is enchanted with the thought of seeing a secret dream come true
and having one of his daughters marry the prince.

Scene and duet: “Un soave non so che in quegl’ occhi scintillÚ” Don
Ramiro, disguised as a servant falls in love with Cenerentola.

Chorus and cavatina: “Come un’ ape ne’ giorni d’aprile” The servant
Dandini, disguised as the prince, appears, escorted by the noblemen, and
while Don Magnifico looks on, he courts the Baron’s two daughters.

Recitative and quintet: “Signor, una parola”: Cenerentola begs Don
Magnifico to allow her to go to the prince’s ball, but he refuses. Don
Magnifico tells Alidoro, who would like to meet all three daughters, that
Cenerentola is just a lowly scullion, and his third daughter has died.

Recitative and aria: “Vasto teatro Ë il mondo”: Alidoro comforts
Cenerentola and promises to escort her to the ball.

Prince Don Ramiro’s

Recitative: “Ma bravo! Ma bravo!”: Dandini, still disguised as the prince,
appoints Don Magnifico chief wine steward.

Chorus and aria: “Intendente, reggitor” Don Magnifico performs the duties
of his new office.

Duet and finale: “Zitto, zitto, piano, piano”: Dandini reports to Ramiro
how stupid the two sisters are. Unexpectedly Cenerentola appears, grandly
attired. Everybody is struck by this beauty’s remarkable similarity to
Cenerentola. Banquet.

Act II

Prince Don Ramiro’s

Recitative and aria: “Sia qualunque delle figlie”: Don Magnifico and his
two daughters discuss their prospects: they are firmly convinced they will
win the game.

Recitative and aria: “Si, ritrovarla io giuro”: Cenerentola gives Don
Ramiro a bracelet, and before disappearing she tells him look for her.
Another bracelet, which she always wears, will enable him to recognize

Recitative and duet: “Un segreto d’importanza”: Don Magnifico tries to get
Dandini to tell him whether he has chosen Clorinda or Tisbe. Dandini, in
response, reveals his true identity.

Don Magnifico’s palace.

Song: “Una volta c’era un re”: Cenerentola has returned to her usual

Recitative and thunderstorm: Don Magnifico and his two daughters return
home in a fury.

Recitative and sextet: “Siete voi”: Don Ramiro appears, this time clad in
his princely raiment and escorted by Dandini. He recognizes the bracelet on
Cenerentola’s wrist. He wishes to make her his wife. Don Magnifico and his
two daughters are beside themselves with anger.

Chorus, scene and rondo finale: “Nacqui all’affano, al pianto”: The
courtiers pay homage to their new princess, Cenerentola. Clorinda and Tisbe
beg her forgiveness, which she generously grants. With everyone deeply moved,
the curtain falls.

[Synopsis: Bayerische

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for the complete libretto

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product_by=Teresa Berganza (Angelina/Cenerentola), Nicola Monti (Ramiro), Sesto Bruscantini (Dandini), Mario Petri (Don Magnifico), Ornella Rovero (Clorinda), MitÏ Truccato Pace (Tisbe), Leonardo Monreale (Alidoro), Chorus of Teatro San Carlo and RAI Symphony Orchestra, Naples, Mario Rossi (cond.)
Live performance, 1958, Naples.

Graphic by Rafal Olbinski (2001)