Opera Roanoke Packs House for “Best Performance in Years”

Both drama and hilarity were in high supply during Opera Roanoke's recent performance of Cinderella.
Both drama and hilarity were in high supply during Opera Roanoke's recent performance of Cinderella.
(L to R) Angela Theis (Clorinda). Amanda Crider (Cinderella) and Kathryn Kelly (Tisble).

Near capacity crowds at the Jefferson Center thrilled to the sounds and sights of Rossini’s “Cinderella” in a brilliant production envisioned by Opera Roanoke’s Artistic Director Scott Williamson on Friday, March 20th and Sunday, March 22nd.

From the lead roles of Cinderella (mezzo-soprano Amanda Crider), Prince Ramiro (tenor Jonathan Blalock), the silly stepsisters (sopranos Angela Theis and Kathryn Kelly), the disguised valet Dandini (baritone Levi Hernandez), the magically plotting Alidoro (bass Zachary James) and the cruel but ridiculous stepfather Don Magnifico (bass-baritone Donald Hartmann) to the sturdy support of the all-male chorus, the singing in this show was world-class and the singers earned their many ovations.

A variation of the familiar Cinderella plot, Rossini’s version of the unjustly treated young woman, used as a servant in her own home, who, through pure goodness, rises to win the love of a prince, swept the evening and matinee audiences away equally. Stage Director JJ Hudson helped bring all the lightness, humor, and outright joy in the story to their fullest expression.

Maestro Williamson drew delightful music from the talented artists of the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, perfectly complimenting and highlighting his glorious singers.

Opera patrons adored the whimsical costumes by Sueann Leung and the stratospheric wigs and over the top makeup from Beckie Kravetz, which only added to the feast for eyes and ears in the Shaftman Auditorium, with its perfect acoustics.  The entire production was acclaimed a triumph for Opera Roanoke, with many ticket buyers saying it was the best opera they’d seen in years.

Next up for the company, the Apprentice Artists perform Weill and Sondheim at the Waldron Stage at Center in the Square on May 14th  and 15th.  In the Fall, on October 30 and November 1, Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd” will be presented at the Jefferson Center, with Verdi’s  “La Traviata” following as the Spring opera offering on April 8th  and 10th  of 2016.

For more information please visit www.operarroanoke.org or call (540) 982-2742.