La Cenerentola (Cinderella)

Past Production


Emily Fons

Santiago Ballerini

Thomas Glass

Dale Travis
Don Magnifico

Alan Higgs


Dean Williamson

Joan Font

Xevi Dorca
Associate Director & Choreographer

Joan Guillen
Scenic & Costume Designer

Albert Faura
Lighting Designer

Composer: Gioachino Rossini
Librettist: Jacopo Ferretti
Premiere Date: Jan 25, 1817, Teatro Valle, Rome

Two despicable stepsisters, a narcissistic buffoon, and some high-speed vocal acrobatics spell hilarity for Rossini’s take on a beloved fairytale. In La Cenerentola, the good-hearted Cinderella casts off the helpless damsel-in-distress persona to hold the original Mean Girls at bay. She’s not afraid to pursue her beloved (who she thinks is the Prince’s valet), only she’s finding that nothing at the royal palace is what it seems to be.

A co-production of Houston Grand Opera, Welsh National Opera, Liceu Opera Barcelona, and Grand Théâtre de Genève

Performed in Italian with English supertitles

Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre



All Performances: Pre-show fine dining
$53 for Sat, Tues, Fri dinner
$43 for Sun brunch

Final Dress Rehearsal

Friday, November 1: Teachers with students may attend the final dress rehearsal for FREE
Available soon

Opera’s Night Out

Friday, November 8 : Young professionals enjoy a pre-show cocktail hour + ticket to the show
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All Performances: Save up to 25%
For groups of 10 or more

Student Rush Tickets

All Performances: Students with ID may purchase discount tickets two hours in advance at the Cobb Energy Centre
$25 – 35 per seat

Get the Feeling

Listen to La Cenerentola


Approximate runtime: 2 hours 50 minutes including 1 intermission

Read the program


Act I
In a hall of Don Magnifico’s castle, his vain and demanding daughters Clorinda and Tisbe are busy primping. Their stepsister, Angelina (known as Cenerentola), consoles herself with a song about a king who chose a kind-hearted bride rather than a rich one. A beggar (actually Prince Ramiro’s tutor Alidoro) comes in; Angelina gives him some coffee and bread, angering the stepsisters. The prince’s courtiers enter, announcing the imminent arrival of the prince himself — that evening at a palace ball, he will choose the most beautiful woman among the guests as his wife. The ensuing excitement generates great confusion. The knights leave and so does the “beggar,” foretelling that Angelina will be happy the next day.

Characters & Cast


A young woman who must serve her step-father and step-sisters – otherwise known as Cinderella

Emily Fons

Hailed by Opera News as one of opera’s rising stars, mezzo-soprano Emily Fons was last seen at The Atlanta Opera as Siébel in Faust (2014).

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Prince of Salerno

Santiago Ballerini

Argentinian tenor Santiago Ballerini returns to The Atlanta Opera, where he was last seen as Tonio in The Daughter of the Regiment. Mr. Ballerini was a member of the 2017-18 Atlanta Opera Studio.



Valet to the prince

Thomas Glass

A native of Edina, Minnesota, Mr. Glass earned his Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University.


Don Magnifico

Baron of Montefiascone and Angelina’s stepfather

Dale Travis

Praised as a “superb” bass-baritone (New York Arts), Dale Travis makes his Atlanta Opera debut as Don Magnifico.



Philosopher and the prince’s former tutor

Alan Higgs

American bass-baritone Alan Higgs is an alumnus of The Atlanta Opera Studio and member of the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.



Don Magnifico’s elder daughter

Bryn Holdsworth

Praised by the New York Times for her “limpid-tone, articulate soprano,” Bryn Holdsworth is already garnering attention on stages throughout the country.



Don Magnifico’s younger daughter

Elizabeth Sarian*

Elizabeth Sarian, mezzo-soprano, is quickly gaining recognition for her unique timbre and versatility as a young mezzo-soprano.


Newbie Guide

The Opera Experience

Operas on our mainstage are grand theatrical experiences. You can always expect the unexpected, and for our productions to be presented at the highest quality.


Many operas are in a foreign language. Supertitles are similar to subtitles in a film, except they are projected above the stage. These translations will help you follow what’s happening on stage.

What to Wear

There is no dress code at The Opera and you will see everything from jeans to evening gowns and formal suits. Most people use it as a chance to enjoy dressing up in their own style.

Arriving in Good Time

If you are late, you will be escorted to the nearest late seating area. At intermission ushers will show you to your seat. Plan ahead to arrive with extra time.

Directions & Parking at Cobb Energy Center

Enhance Your Visit

Pre-Performance Talk

Learn about the history of the opera, the composer, and more from artists and opera aficionados. One hour prior to curtain. Free with your ticket!

Learn More

Familiarizing Yourself with the Story

Because of the foreign languages, classical music, and often complex plots, you will very likely enjoy the performance better if you spend a few minutes familiarizing yourself with the story and characters in advance. Some people even like to listen to the music in advance and others prefer to let it wash over them during the show and perhaps look it up afterwards.

Visit our Study Guides Library

How is an Opera Staged?


Actors first audition for roles up to a year in advance, or for more experienced artists, directors also invite them to play a role.


Most of the rehearsals are held in our rehearsal hall, and not the actual theatre. The conductor begins orchestra rehearsals about a week and half before opening night. They have four rehearsals with the conductor, and then the singers are added into the mix.

Sets & Costumes

The Atlanta Opera Costume Shop alters the costumes to fit our singers. Sometimes they do have to make costumes if there aren’t enough, or if there is nothing that fits, etc. Once the sets are in place, the cast begins rehearsing at the theatre. The Opera production staff works with staff at the theatre to get all of the lighting and technical aspects of the production together.

Sitzprobe & Dress Rehearsal

The orchestra comes together with the singers in a special rehearsal called sitzprobe. There are no costumes during the sitzprobe, this is mainly to hear the voices with the orchestra. There is a piano dress rehearsal, when the singers rehearse in full costume for the first time so they can get used to wearing them. Finally, all of the pieces are put together for two full dress rehearsals leading up to opening night.

Creative Team

Conductor: Dean Williamson

Production & Staging Director: Joan Font

Scenic & Costume Designer: Joan Guillen

Wig & Makeup Designer: Brittany Crinson

Lighting Designer: Albert Faura

Assistant Director & Choreographer: Xevi Dorca

Chorus Master: Rolando Salazar

Supertitles: Patricia Houk

Musical Preparation: Valerie Pool**, Alvaro Corral Matute*

Assistant Stage Director: Ellen Jackson†

Production Stage Manager: Brian August

Assistant Stage Managers: Renée Varnas, Marisa Brink

†The Jerry & Dulcy Rosenberg Young Artist Stage Director, given in honor of Tomer Zvulun

*member of The Atlanta Opera Studio
**alumnus of The Atlanta Opera Studio


Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868)

Gioacchino Rossini was born on February 29, 1792, in Pesaro, Italy. His father, Giuseppe, was the town trumpeter as well as a horn player in the local brass band. His mother, Anna, was a baker’s daughter. They were both members of a traveling theatrical company, Giuseppe playing in the orchestra and Anna singing on stage. As a child, little Gioacchino studied singing and horn playing at home. At the age of twelve, the family settled in Bologna, Italy where he could pursue his musical studies to the fullest. He soon began to earn money as a chorus master, an accompanist and a singer, particularly in churches. His work in music was so impressive that at the age of fourteen he was awarded a great honor – he was elected a Fellow of the Academia Filarmonica. At age fifteen, he entered the conservatory where he pursued studies in composition, counterpoint, cello and piano. He was particularly interested in studying the music of Haydn and Mozart, and he imitated their orchestration and fluency. During his lifetime, Rossini was described as the “Italian Mozart”, a compliment he must have thoroughly enjoyed because he considered Mozart his idol. Like Mozart’s, Rossini’s music has laughter, and he understood the human voice and its possibilities.



Dean Williamson

Dean Williamson is widely known throughout the United States for his perceptive and commanding conducting. His ambitious and versatile career in standard and contemporary repertoire earns the conductor worldwide acclaim. The Washington Post says “a brilliantly directed, beautifully sung and endlessly funny Barber of Seville…the orchestra, which played the sparkling overture and the vivid storm music with grace and color under the expert baton of Dean Williamson.” The Seattle Times says “Williamson keeps a sure, steady hand on the singers and the orchestra…realizing the shimmering and otherworldly textures of the score.” This season, Maestro Williamson conducts for Nashville Opera where he’s entering his 4th season as Music Director with productions of La Traviata, and Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers. Additionally, he conducts Le nozze di Figarowith Arizona Opera and Philip Glass’ Hydrogen Jukebox at Washington University.



Joan Font

Spanish director Joan Font is the founder of Els Comediants, a Spanish artists’ collective formed by actors, musicians and artists, and he has participated in the creation of more than 30 stage productions spread over five continents including projects for Festival d’Avignon, Venice’s Biennale and the closing ceremonies of the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympic games. Opera credits include The Magic Flute (Gran Teatre del Liceu) and L’Italiana in Algeri for Teatro Real Madrid.


Associate Director & Choreographer

Xevi Dorca

Xevi Dorca is a wise, intuitive choreographer whose ability has been recently proved in the operas La Cenerentola, Barber of Seville and L’Italiana in Algeri, all three directed by Joan Font and presented in Geneva, Barcelona, Valencia, Los Angeles, Seattle, Omaha, Toronto, and Washington, D.C. following their presentation by lead producing company, the Houston Grand Opera. Dorca has been praised for his superb result in gaining dynamism in the staging. In opera, he danced in Barber of Seville (by Carlos Santos) and Orfeo e Euridice (by Joan Font) both at Perelada Festival; The Fairy Queen, by Lindsay Kemp; and Fuastball (by L. Balada at Teatro Real). He worked in multiple companies including Sol Picó, Color Danza, Anima’s Animal Art, Mar Gomez, Rasatabula.