Rossini’s ‘Cinderella’ charms Perry Fine Arts patrons

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The cast of OPERA Iowa's production of "Cinderella" included, from left, Conor McDonald as Dandini, Isaac Frishman as Don Ramiro, Nate DeMare as a servant, Joshua Conyers as Don Magnifico and Courtney Elvia as Cinderella.

The Perry Performing Arts center filled with laughter Friday night when Perry Fine Arts sponsored the OPERA Iowa production of Rossini’s “Cinderella.”

The nine-member OPERA Iowa troupe rendered Rossini’s 1817 masterpiece with a light and energetic touch befitting the original. Isaac Frishman’s Don Ramiro had all the nobility of carriage of an Italian revolutionary and perfectly complemented the grace and simplicity of Courtney Elvira’s Cinderella. The dissipated Roman nobleman Don Magnifico was brought to life by Joshua Conyers.

The opera was performed in English, with colorful scenery and costumes, theatrical lighting and musical accompaniment. In Rossini’s version of “Cinderella,” the evil stepmother was replaced by a grumpy stepfather, and the fairy godmother was replaced by a philosopher, but the iconic glass slipper and ornery stepsisters remained.

The 2016 OPERA Iowa troupe includes, seated from left, Nate DeMare, Scott Arens and Isaac Frishman; standing from left, Jenna Smith, Conot McDonald, Emily Tweedy, Aidan Smerud, Joshua Conyers and Courtney Elvira.
The 2016 OPERA Iowa troupe includes, seated from left, Nate DeMare, Scott Arens and Isaac Frishman; standing from left, Jenna Smith, Conot McDonald, Emily Tweedy, Aidan Smerud, Joshua Conyers and Courtney Elvira.

OPERA Iowa complemented its performance of “Cinderella” with an school-day performance of “Billy Goats Gruff” and classroom workshops at the Perry Middle School.

Student outreach is a big part of OPERA Iowa’s effort to make opera more understandable and more accessible to students and families.

OPERA Iowa is an Education Division program of the Indianola-based Des Moines Metro Opera. The OPERA Iowa troupe has performed in nine states throughout the Midwest, in Montana and in China and Japan as it seeks to spread the thrill of opera to more than 750,000 students and adults.

The next event in the Perry Fine Arts schedule will see Perry Fine Arts welcome the Iowa State University medieval music company, Musica Antiqua, Sunday, April 10 at 2 p.m. at the Perry Performing Arts Center.

Perry Fine Arts concerts are free and open to all. Donations are accepted. The Perry Performing Arts Center is handicapped accessible.

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