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Opera Without Homework 

One of the major misconceptions about opera is that the combination of plot and foreign language results in an incomprehensible story for neophytes. Honestly, skimming any online synopsis before attending will forestall problems — but in the case of Gioachino Rossini’s La Cenerentola, even that’s not necessary. Rossini’s opera is a retelling of the Cinderella fairy tale; you know this one. Mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca stars as Angelina, the Cinderella character, and her Prince Charming is Don Ramiro (Lawrence Brownlee). Don Ramiro’s tutor, Alidoro (John Relyea), functions as the Fairy Godmother stand-in. Aside from a few minor plot divergences, such as Alidoro’s non-magical nature and a pair of matching bracelets in place of those very impractical glass slippers, this is a familiar and entertaining story. The evil stepsisters are here, as is the midnight ball and, of course, the gentle ways and grace of Angelina win out over all of the nastiness in her life. The HD simulcast of the Metropolitan Opera’s production of La Cenerentola takes place at 11:30 a.m. in the auditorium of the Saint Louis Art Museum in Forest Park (314-721-0072 or Tickets are $15 to $22.
Sat., May 9, 2009

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