La Cenerentola in Rye


Increasingly known for its fresh, invigorating and high quality music-making, this production of La Cenerentola (Cinderella) has all the hallmarks of a Barefoot Opera show: a band, not an orchestra – with piano, clarinet and double bass; a dynamic, international cast of professional young singers, and a contemporary take on a classic tale. Here we find no fairy godmother or glass slipper, but a family trashing the earth’s resources, and the ugly sisters reframed as social media influencers. No wonder the show has been described as ‘fairytale meets TikTok’!

Following a debut of La Cenerentola in Hastings last year, this sparkling production by the Sussex-based opera company will be on tour through the summer, including a date not to miss at Rye Creative Centre on Saturday, August 19.

Previously nominated for London-based The Offies (the OffWestEnd theatre awards) – set up to reward the new talent that independent theatres nurture – Barefoot Opera has been awarded an Arts Council of England grant for this upcoming tour. This is supporting the company to tour the show across the South East with an outstanding cast and exceptional musicians who will – in some of the shows – perform alongside members of local choirs.

“Thanks to the Arts Council grant, we can carry on buzzing with new participants, and ‘opera virgins'” says Jenny Miller, Barefoot Opera founder and director. ‘We are thrilled to be bringing a show to Rye for the first time!’

One thing that we can depend on is that even in this modern retelling, La Cenerentola remains, at its heart, a love story.

“Cinders wins her man and her man wins her, because in Rossini’s telling, very clearly, they fall for a person, not a product. Long live true love!” – Jenny Miller

Adding to the drama and the contemporary take on the story, even the production itself, which Jenny Miller calls an “eco-production”, transforms pre-loved pieces of set and costume. Reviewing the show following its debut last year in Hastings Independent Press, Erica Smith wrote:

“Hats off to Jane Bruce and Natascha Stolle who created the set and costumes from upcycled materials. Cinderella recycles plastic bottles whilst her sisters goggle at empty-framed iPads. Their hilarious fashionista costumes are the perfect props for their bad-postured, greedy flirting. Operas are long, but this kept my focus….the band of two-and-a-half were amazing – and yes – the singing was wonderful too!”

Glass slipper or no glass slipper, this is a show not to miss!

Barefoot Opera presents La Cenerentela.
Rye Creative Centre
Saturday 19 August
Bar available.
Tickets £20 from the Barefoot Opera website.
Kids under 12 go free if accompanied by an adult.

Image Credits: Chris Parker .

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