The Music Academy of the West proudly presents one of the most enduring and appealing operas of all time, Rossini’s bel canto masterpiece, Cinderella.


Beste Kalender will play the title role in the Music Academy of the West’s production of Rossini’s Cinderella. (Music Academy of the West photo)

The tale that has captivated audiences all over the world in different formats since 1697 will be performed at the Granada Theatre in a thrilling new production appealing to all ages, directed by David Paul.

Paul’s works have been praised by the New York Times as operas with “irresistible energy and charm.” The opera will be conducted by Jayce Ogren, recently the music director of the New York City Opera.

The production, the first-ever performances of Cinderella in the academy’s history, will be overseen by legendary mezzo-soprano and Voice Program Director Marilyn Horne.

Cinderella will be sung in Italian with English supertitles. The set and costumes have been created by Sandra Goldmark, nominated for Outstanding Set Design at the 2010 Drama Desk Awards for her work with the award-winning company Transport Group. The lighting design is by Francois — Pierre Couture, 2010 Ticket Holder Award Recipient for best Lighting Design.

About the Opera

“Ah, this life is so exhausting — how I’d love to fly away!” — Cinderella

Rossini’s popular retelling of the beloved Cinderella story adds a few fabulous twists to the traditional fairy tale. A kindhearted girl dreams of one day escaping her impoverished stepfather’s castle. When a prince announces he will choose his bride at a glamorous ball, she seizes the opportunity to escape the tyranny of her vain stepsisters and take control of her own destiny.

Rossini’s opera was written when the composer was 25, composed in a mere three weeks. Famously witty as an individual, his music is full of subtle humor, well represented in this gentle, occasionally dark, but ultimately delightful comedy.

Rossini: Cinderella (La Cenerentola) (1817)

Libretto by Jacopo Ferretti

Marilyn Horne voice program director

Jayce Ogren conductor

Academy Festival Orchestra

The Cast of Academy fellows:

Clorinda (Stepsister): Adanya Dunn

Tisbe (Stepsister): Deanna Pauletto

Angelina (Cinderella): Beste Kalender

Alidoro: Michael Hewitt

Don Magnifico: César Torruella

Don Ramiro (Prince): Christopher Yoon

Dandini: Vincent Terregano

Rossini’s Cinderella is the 2015 Irene Cummings Endowed Opera, generously supported by Mercedes Millington and John C. Mithun.

The performance on July 30 is dedicated to Anne and Michael Towbes and presented in special appreciation of Montecito Bank & Trust. The performance on Aug. 1 is dedicated to the E. Richard de Rosa Jr. Foundation and Anne de Rosa.

Tickets for Rossini’s Cinderella range from $10 to $80; young people ages 7 to 17 are free with a ticketed adult. Tickets can be purchased through the Music Academy of the West ticket office by calling 805.969.8787, or online by clicking here.

— Ana Papakhian is the vice president of marketing and communications for the Music Academy of the West.