A few weeks ago we were supposed to go to see a performance of the Cinderella opera in our local community center, and it didn’t quite happen.
They ran it a second time today, so to make up for last time we got free invitations.

The show itself was an amalgam of opera and ballet parts. While it was nicely done, the drive behind it was not so much artistic, but social. They have a lot of talented immigrants who are practically starving, and this is one way in which the municipalities deal with it. By arranging shows, they can pay the artists salaries, and subsidize it out of culture funds.

Since most of the people on the stage were actually good, I don’t have a problem with this. I got to see a decent show at a good price (Well, a very good price since it was a totally free invitation, but the price of paid tickets was also rather low). And the artists got a salary for doing their job.

I’m not sure where the libretto was taken from, exactly. The music came from all over the place, where the ballet parts mostly were taken from a wide range of composers and eras. The printed program page for the show was sadly lacking in all details beyond simple listing of names of the people on stage. The overture and accompanying music for the operatic parts was played live by real musicians near the stage, while much of the ballet music was pre-recorded. The combination was somewhat odd, with a clear discrepancy in sound quality (The real musicians were good).

The plot itself was highly abridged and edited, so that what happens on stage will fit the available cast. So there was a bit more dancing and ballet than singing. The ballet troupe was decent, some dancers were quite good. There was also a rubber girl who is (I think, but no clear details were ever supplied) a part of the troupe.

The obvious star of the evening, and the one person that I believe to not be a starving artist, was the singer Marina Zolotov. In the lead role of Cinderella. She has a wonderful voice. She also has excellent pronunciation and her Italian actually sounded like clear Italian. Not too surprisingly, she’s a real singer with the Israeli Opera. Hearing her sing was basically worth the all evening by itself. She could have done better, as was obvious in some parts, but I can’t really fault her for not going all out in this setting. And what’s more important about her as a singer is the clear impression that she could have if she wanted to.

The prince had a weak voice, and according to rumor (from one in the know) was chosen due to his looks… The two sisters, Lilliana Krizner and Sophia Yakobov (spelling is a guess, the printed page was only in Hebrew), both had a good voice, and done very nice acting, but still need to work on their pronunciation a bit. One of them I recall seeing before on some occasion.

And that’s it for the singing parts. I can’t possibly connect the names on the page with the myriad dancers on the stage, so I won’t even try.

The only bad parts were on the culture of Israelis as a crowed. There were no less than three different people that turned off their cellphones only after the show started, resulting in those highly annoying musical chimes overriding the show’s music. People also clapped their hands all over the place whenever someone finished an aria or a dance, which is very nice but is just not the thing to do. You’re supposed to clap after the show when everyone is finished, not during the show when the next bit is already starting (Except of course in one part near the end where the ballet troupe actually had their people do solo dances and then bow for the applause, with the opera people looking nonplussed from the side).

Overall it was a good show, and for a good cause. Those people do deserve to work, they’re quite good the most of them. And once again, just to make sure it’s covered, Marina Zolotov is amazing.

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