Lyric Opera’s Production of CINDERELLA starring ISABEL LEONARD Opens October 4

LA CENTERENTOLA. WNO. 24-9-2007

LA CENTERENTOLA. WNO. 24-9-2007Lyric Opera of Chicago presents Rossini’s family-friendly Cinderella in a new-to-Chicago production this fall, starring Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard in the title role. Sung in Italian with projected English titles, and based on the beloved fairy tale, Cinderella provides an enchanting, accessible introduction to opera.

“There are a lot of fantastic colors and costumes in this show, and so I think it’s particularly visually appealing for kids and adults alike,” says Isabel Leonard. “There are some fantastic dancers in mouse costumes—so that’s a real hit with the kids! It’s a perfect opera to come to if you’ve never been before.”

Cinderella opens on Sunday, October 4 with 8 performances through Friday, October 30. Performance dates are Oct. 7, 10, 13, 17, 23, 26 at 7:30pm; and Oct 4 and 30 at 2pm. For tickets and information call (312) 827-5600 or go to lyricopera.org.

Rossini’s enchanting romantic comedy Cinderella (La Cenerentola) stars Isabel Leonard as Angelina (a.k.a. Cinderella), Lawrence Brownlee in his much-awaited company debut as charming Prince Ramiro, Alessandro Corbelli as nasty stepfather Don Magnifico, Vito Priante (debut) as the prince’s crafty servant Dandini, and Christian Van Horn as the prince’s wise advisor Alidoro.Sir Andrew Davis conducts. Making their company debuts are director Joan Font, production designer Joan Guillen, lighting designer Albert Faura, and choreographer Xevi Dorca, all longtime collaborators from Barcelona. Michael Black is chorus master.

“This production is zany and slightly surreal, but accessible and entertaining,” says Anthony Freud, Lyric’s general director, who was involved with creating this production both at Welsh National Opera and at Houston Grand Opera. “It’s a fairytale environment with primary colors and a witty, quirky design, very Spanish in its aesthetic. The rats are Cinderella’s friends and they look out for her – they’re ever-present, and rather wonderful. The director Joan Font has led Els Comediants for years, which started out as a Barcelonan street-theater company. He’s a wonderfully charismatic, quirky, gentle character – like his productions.” The designer, Joan Guillen, Freud adds, brings “a lot of the immediacy, impact, and accessibility” from street theater to the opera stage.

The Lyric Opera production of Cinderella is generously made possible by Margot and Josef Lakonishok, The Nelson Cornelius Production Endowment Fund, and PowerShares QQQ.

About Lyric Opera of Chicago

Founded in 1954, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s mission is to express and promote the life-changing, transformational, revelatory power of great opera. Lyric exists to provide a broad, deep, and relevant cultural service to Chicago and the nation, and to advance the development of the art form.

Lyric is dedicated to producing and performing consistently thrilling, entertaining, and thought-provoking opera with a balanced repertoire of core classics, lesser-known masterpieces, and new works; to creating an innovative and wide-ranging program of community engagement and educational activities; and to developing exceptional emerging operatic talent.

Under the leadership of general director Anthony Freud, music director Sir Andrew Davis, and creative consultant Renée Fleming, Lyric strives to become The Great North American Opera Company for the 21st century: a globally significant arts organization embodying the core values of excellence, relevance, and fiscal responsibility.