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RossiniHis Life and Works$
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Richard Osborne

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195181296

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195181296.001.0001

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La Cenerentola:

La Cenerentola:

An Essay in Comic Pathos

Chapter:
(p.245) Chapter Twenty-Eight La Cenerentola:
Source:
Rossini
Author(s):

Richard Osborne

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195181296.003.0028

Stendhal (Henry Beyle) was distressed to find La Cenerentola infected with what he called “a servant’s hall vulgarity.” Gioachino Rossini, however, is more sensitive than his urbane biographer. The very name Cenerentola suggests ashes and expiation. Cenerentola’s song, which crops up several times in the opera, is a wonderful example of the art that disguises art. Not everything in La Cenerentola is quite as radical as this. Away from the drama’s critical moments, Don Magnifico is expansively, even loosely drawn. His cavatina describes a rather odd dream involving a donkey that sprouts wings and ends up on top of a church spire. Whilst Cenerentola sighs and dreams, the rest of Rossini’s characters live out quotidian lives that are every bit as hectic and confused as anything in Rossini’s time, or our own.

Keywords:   Stendhal, La Cenerentola, Gioachino Rossini, Cenerentola, ashes, expiation

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