Throughout time, the opera La Cenerentola by Gioachini Rossini has proven to be one the composer’s most famous works, as well as the most famous operatic adaptation of the Cinderella story. However, the opera is in fact quite different from the well-know fairy tale. There are certain advantages and disadvantages to Rossini and his librettist Ferreti’s setting of the piece; significant pieces of the story are removed to make way for thoughtful substitutions. However, in the end he manages to deliver a fresh interpretation of the tale without sacrificing the timeless charm of the original fairy tale.
The “Cinderella Story” has been a classic trope in literature throughout the ages, and there are numerous variations of the story across Africa, Asia, Persia, and even Native American Algonquian traditions. Some cite the earliest appearance of Cinderella as far back the first century CE with Greek Scholar Strabo’s mention of the myth of Rhodopis. This story recounts a woman whose sandal was snatched by an eagle as she bathed in the river and carried to the king of Memphis, who immediately sought out the woman to whom the shoe belonged. However others cite the first documented Cinderella story as the tale of Ye Xian, written by Chinese scholar Duan Chengshi in 850 CE. In this version, Ye Xuan is gravely abused by her stepmothers and sisters, and her only friend is a fish, which the stepmother cruelly kills and eats. However, a magical spirit appears from the fish bones, granting Ye