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Alma Deutscher could do with editing her opera, Cinderella. But as she composed it when she was just 10 years old, she has plenty of time to tinker with it should she wish, (and in fact has already reduced it for performances on the Vienna Staatsoper’s studio stage). This performance is from Opera San José, and sung in English. The music is generous in spirit, awash with tunes, and with the graceful lilt of a Viennese operetta. It sometimes tends to schmaltz, and could I be mistaken in hearing Rossini in the overture (the Contessa di Folleville’s aria from Il Viaggio a Reims)? There is also dialogue, a bit clunky, but delivered with enthusiasm by the cast. The whole enterprise is an exercise in nostalgia – the sets and costumes are lavish, the sets traditional, and plot a simple twist on the conventional Cinderella story. Jane Glover conducts with care and affection for the graces of the score, and the cast is well-chosen, with singers relishing their pastiche arias. It would make a great Christmas show outside of the opera house, should an impresario alight upon it. Deutscher obviously has an extraordinary talent, and it will be fascinating to watch her skills develop and mature.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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