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Big, Bold and Beautiful

23 July 2018

As one of the most well known fairy tales in history written by Charles Perrault in 1697, Cinderella is also known as one of Walt Disney’s original classics. Although long before the magical fairy godmother, the pumpkin carriage and the glass slipper that movie lovers remember so well from the Disney version, Rossini had created an opera, La Cenerentola based on the tale.

Like the Disney classic, our version of Rossini’s opera is full of vibrant costumes, big hair and colourful make up, in fact; it stands out as one of the most extravagant and exuberant productions we perform at Welsh National Opera. There are no gruesome murders, no big fight scenes and definitely no blood. In fact this may be one of the very few operas where all the characters make it out alive.

WNO will be reviving our highly successful 2007 production of La Cenerentola that was directed by Joan Font with the set and costumes by Joan Guillén, but never fear, the costumes haven’t aged a bit, unfortunately the same can’t be said for all of us working on it. 

Joan Guillen’s designs are as vibrant and outgoing as the opera itself. From Angelina (Cinderella) to the Ugly Sisters, the costumes reflect the mood of the piece. 

The Ugly Sisters’ costumes are by far the most outrageous and garish, as they are dressed from head to toe in bright greens, oranges, reds and pink. Colour clashing is a thing, and something that the Ugly Sisters do to extreme.  Let’s not forget the most stand out accessory of the outfits though, the fabulous wigs. 

If you thought the costumes were bright, the wigs are even brighter. Pink, yellow, blue, purple, you name the colour and someone will be wearing it. The colour and the humour of this production make it the perfect opera to bring the family of all ages along to. And if that doesn’t convince you, the prospect of seeing six dancing mice leaping across the stage should.

In contrast to the Ugly Sisters, Angelina’s  costumes are less vibrant and certainly less eye catching. Her’s are more subtle and in contrast, for example in the ball scene, Angelina wears a crisp white dress and matching wig, with the only colour being her stunning green mask. This symbolises the purity of Angelina in comparison to the Ugly Sisters. 

If you are looking for something that dazzles and amazes you, then La Cenerentola is the opera for you. With a mix of colourful costumes, flamboyant wigs and a little bit of imagination it is sure to brighten your day whatever the weather.