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Cinderella Cinderella

Composed by Gioachino Rossini

Conducted by Roberto Abbado

November 20 – December 12, 2021

At the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

You'll have a ball next holiday season!

In this comedy, true love conquers all — even a pompous stepfather and two self-absorbed stepsisters.

Rossini’s delightfully entertaining spin on the ultimate rags-to-riches tale finds our spunky heroine (no damsel in distress here) with an opportunity to nab the most eligible bachelor in the land and outwit her social-climbing family in the process. Fast-rising operatic royalty Serena Malfi and Levy Sekgapane star as our fairytale lovers, alongside a bit of luxury casting with Ildebrando D'Arcangelo as Cinderella's mysterious benefactor. Rossini master Alessandro Corbelli returns as the stepfather who tries to foil the happy ending.

Tickets available now as an add-on to a Spring 2021 subscription package. 

Serena Malfi  "a performance rich in tonal colors, full of quick-witted theatrical poise"

Joshua KosmanSan Francisco Chronicle

Read the synopsis

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Act One
In the crumbling home of Don Magnifico, his daughters Clorinda and Tisbe bicker while their step-sister Angelina, known as Cinderella, does her chores. As she scrubs the floor, she sings a folk song about a king who marries a simple girl because she has a good heart. The sisters mock her for being so sentimental and continue their chatter. When a beggar knocks at the back door, the sisters treat him badly, but Cinderella offers him bread and coffee. What no one knows is that the beggar is really Alidoro, Prince Ramiro’s tutor, on a fact-finding mission for the prince, who is in the neighborhood looking for a bride.

A group of courtiers arrive and announce that Ramiro will soon follow to take the ladies to his palace, where he will choose his bride. The sisters immediately begin tormenting Cinderella, demanding that she prepare them for the evening. The noise wakes Don Magnifico, who describes his dream: he was a donkey and his daughters were royalty. The prince arrives disguised as his valet, Dandini. He is in search of Cinderella, whose kindness his tutor Alidoro has related. He surprises Cinderella, causing her to drop the dishes she’s carrying, and the two find themselves attracted to one another.

Dandini arrives, declaring himself to be the prince with exaggerated pomp. Cinderella asks her step-father to let her go to the palace with her step-sisters, but he cruelly refuses. When Ramiro and Dandini ask Magnifico where the third daughter of the household is, he claims that she is dead. Everyone struggles to untangle the situation. Alidoro enters, again disguised as the beggar. He reveals his identity to Cinderella and invites her to the ball.

The company has assembled at the palace, where Dandini, still playing the prince, appoints Don Magnifico master of the wine cellar in appreciation of his ability to consume vast quantities of alcohol. Magnifico immediately proffers a decree forbidding the dilution of wine. Dandini and the real prince share their encounters with Magnifico and his slightly warped family. They can’t imagine which of his two dreadful daughters Alidoro could have been praising. They devise another test in which the disguised Dandini offers the hand of his valet, played by the real prince, to Clorinda and Tisbe. Both women refuse in disgust. The unexpected arrival of a beautiful stranger—who bears an amazing resemblance to Cinderella—heightens everyone’s anxiety.

Act Two
At the palace after the feast, Don Magnifico tries to reassure himself that one of his daughters will still marry the prince, despite their lackluster performance that evening. He imagines himself laden with royal appointments, bestowing his favors only to pretty ladies willing to grease the wheels with a small cash donation. Annoyed by the constant attentions of Dandini (who is still disguised as the prince), Cinderella tells him that she would rather marry the prince’s “valet.” Ramiro’s heart leaps at this declaration, and he tells Cinderella his true identity. She tells him that if he really loves her, he must come find her, giving him a bracelet that matches one she always wears. Magnifico corners Dandini, and demands that the “prince” choose a daughter. Dandini tells Magnifico to be patient, and then reveals that he is really just a valet, a confession that bewilders the Don.

Back at Don Magnifico’s house, Cinderella sings her folk song again, and Magnifico and the step-sisters return from the palace. Alidoro and the prince, meanwhile, search for Cinderella, and a fortuitous storm causes the prince’s carriage to get stuck outside Magnifico’s house. The two take shelter inside, and Ramiro immediately recognizes his beloved. Cinderella begs Ramiro to be kind to Magnifico and his daughters, who, even though they treated Cinderella despicably, deserve forgiveness. At the wedding banquet in the prince’s palace, Cinderella rejoices at her happy fate.


Angelina (Cinderella)
Serena Malfi
Don Ramiro
Levy Sekgapane
Rodion Pogossov
Don Magnifico
Alessandro Corbelli
Ildebrando D'Arcangelo

Creative Team

Roberto Abbado
Chorus Director
Grant Gershon

IMPORTANT UPDATE: While the Cinderella cast will remain as originally announced for 2020, the Stefan Herheim production of that opera is unavailable for the rescheduled performance dates in 2021.

The director and production team for the 2021 Los Angeles performances will be announced at a later date.  

Artwork for Cinderella
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Fall 2021 Season