Angelina (Cenerentola): Barbara Howitt
Don Ramiro: Nicola Monti
Dandini: Paolo Pedani
Don Magnifico: Cristiano Dallamangas
Clorinda: April Cantelo
Tisbe: Patricia Kern
Alidoro: John Holmes
|Costume Design||Joseph Carl
|Wexford Chorus Coach||Mrs C Hore
|, Assistant Chorus Coach||Nora O'Leary
Time: Late 18th century- early 19th century
Place: Salerno (Italy)
Angelina, known to her stepfather and stepsisters as "Cenerentola," is forced to serve as the maid in her own home. She sings of a king who married a common girl chosen for her kindness against the beauty and adornment of her competitresses ("Una volta c’era un re"). A beggar arrives; her stepsisters, Clorinda and Tisbe, want to send him away, but Cenerentola gives him bread and coffee. Courtiers follow, announcing that Prince Ramiro will visit while he searches for the most beautiful girl in the land to wed. Cenerentola's stepfather, Don Magnifico, hopes to use this as an opportunity to save his own failing fortune.
When the room is empty, Ramiro enters alone, disguised as a valet. The "beggar" – in fact, his tutor, Alidoro – has informed him of a goodhearted young woman spotted here. Ramiro intends to find her incognito. Cenerentola returns, and she and Ramiro are attracted to each other (duet: "Un soave non-so che"), but when he asks who she is, she is overwhelmed and flees.
Finally, the "prince" arrives – the real valet, Dandini, who has taken his master's place – and Magnifico, Clorinda, and Tisbe fall over themselves to flatter him. He invites the family to a ball that evening, where he plans to find his bride; Cenerentola asks to join them, but Magnifico refuses (quintet: "Signor, una parola"). This callousness isn't lost on Ramiro. Alidoro returns to inquire after a third daughter in the house; Magnifico claims she has died and stealthily threatens to murder Cenerentola if she reveals herself. Left alone with Cenerentola, Alidoro promises to take her to the ball himself and that God will reward her kindness ("Là del ciel nell’arcano profondo").
The prince and his valet have retired to Ramiro's country house in some confusion, as neither of Magnifico's daughters resembled the worthy bride Alidoro had described. When Clorinda and Tisbe arrive, Dandini gives them a little test: he offers his "valet" to whichever sister the "prince" does not marry. The ladies are outraged at the idea of marrying a servant. Alidoro then arrives with a beautiful, unknown lady who strangely resembles Cenerentola. Unable to make sense of the situation, they all sit down to supper, feeling like they are in a dream.
Magnifico frets over the competition his daughters now face from the strange lady ("Sia qualunque delle figlie"), but Cenerentola isn't interested in the "prince," saying she's fallen in love with his servant. An overjoyed Ramiro steps forward; however, Cenerentola tells him that she's going home and doesn't want him to follow her. If he really cares for her, she says, he will find her, giving him one of a matching pair of bracelets. The prince determines to do exactly that ("Sì, ritrovarla io giuro").
Meanwhile, Magnifico confronts the disguised Dandini, insisting that he choose one of his daughters to marry. Dandini tries to stall but is forced to admit that he's actually the valet and not the prince at all (duet: "Un segreto d’importanza").
A furious Magnifico and his daughters return home, where they order Cenerentola, back in rags, to serve them. A storm is thundering outside. Alidoro sabotages Ramiro's carriage so that it breaks down in front of Magnifico's manor, forcing the prince to take refuge within. Ramiro recognizes Cenerentola's bracelet on her right arm; the others comment on the situation (sextet: "Siete voi?"). When Ramiro threatens Cenerentola's recalcitrant family, she asks him to forgive them.
Ramiro and Cenerentola are married and celebrate their wedding at the palace. Magnifico tries to win the new princess's favor, but she asks only to be acknowledged, at last, as his daughter. She reflects on the misfortune to which she was born and the sudden reversal of her fate, then forgives her family for all her past unhappiness, adding that her days of sitting sadly by the fire are over ("Nacqui all'affanno... Non più mesta"). Everyone present acknowledges that she truly is worthy of the throne.