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Opera’s rats steal the show from ‘Cinders’

on Oct 20, 2018 in Rat News

La Cenerentola | New Theatre Oxford | Thursday, October 11

THE Welsh National Opera has a very high reputation for the excellence of its productions.

The director Jane Font’s treatment of Rossini’s opera La Cenerentola, assia La bontà in trionfo (Cinderella, or Goodness Triumphant) is no exception.

La Cenerentola was first performed in 1817. Rossini composed it in only three weeks to a libretto supplied at equally short notice by Jacopo Ferretti.

It is an inspired masterpiece containing some of Rossini’s finest and most technically demanding writing for solo voice and ensemble.

The international soloists fielded by WNO were well equipped to meet this exceptional challenge and, remarkably, sounded and looked as fresh after almost three hours of demanding musical gymnastics as they had done at the outset.

The cast was supported by a well-drilled and magnificently attired male chorus together with WNO’s own excellent orchestra that didn’t miss a note under the lively baton of Tomàš Hanus.

The stage setting was ingenious and flexible. It is amazing what you can do with revolving mirrors and a bit of smoke! No expense was spared on the costumes. The use of very bright colours served well to emphasise the fairy tale context of the story.

Ferretti’s plot of the opera is broadly based on the old fairy tale of Cinderella:

Angelina, the step daughter of Don Magnifico, lives at the Don’s crumbling castle in the kitchen working as a slave to her two vain and cruel half-sisters Clorinda and Tisbe. In Ferretti’s version the traditional fairy godmother is replaced by Prince Ramiro’s tutor, Alidoro, disguised as a beggar. Angelina takes pity on the beggar who arranges for her to go to the prince’s ball in disguise. Cinderella’s famous glass slipper is replaced by a diamond bracelet; and there is no need for a shoe-fitting contest because the prince’s scheming valet, Dandini, has already pre-selected Angelina to be the bride!

The WNO version dumps the fairy tale mice that traditionally turn magically into white horses to take Cinderella to the ball. Instead, Cinderella has six pet rats that get up to all sorts of engaging antics as the plot develops. Typically, at one point, the prince’s coach breaks down outside Don Magnifico’s castle, whereupon the rats trundle a toy coach-and-four onto the stage, remove a wheel, carefully lay the coach on its side, give a “thumbs-up” and scuttle off. The audience loved it.

This was just one of many delightful, surreal touches to the evening’s entertainment. The audience took the rats to their hearts; the six dancers involved, in delightfully baggy costumes with conical noses and long tails, were given a roar of applause by the audience at the final curtain.

Underpinning all the laughter and intrigue, Rossini’s timeless and dazzling score was given sparkling treatment to bring the whole story to life. This was opera at its best and most accessible.

John Burleigh

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What Is Rat Disease? The World’s First Case Of This Condition In Humans Has Been Confirmed

on Oct 19, 2018 in Rat News

If there’s one thing that paralyzes me with fear, it’s rats. While it was previously thought that rats couldn’t spread hepatitis to people, a case of rat disease has been found in humans. The New York Times reported that a Hong Kong man was diagnosed with rat hepatitis E. And, the case is serving as […]

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Canada’s Pied Piper Province — How Alberta Became Rat-less

on Oct 18, 2018 in Rat News

Alberta, Canada, is the Pied Piper location of North America: there are no rats in Alberta. The story of how Alberta got rid of rats It began sometimes in the early 1950’s when the prairie dog population was infested with an illness that caused bubonic and pneumonia in humans. Rats were dining on the prairie […]

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Survey: Kids favor rats over other pets

on Oct 17, 2018 in Rat News

‘Creepy cute’ animals that drive parents nuts appeal to young people. Written by Today’s Veterinary Business in October 2018 Who knew that rats were so popular with kids? The website RightPet says a survey of registered users found that children and teenagers get more satisfaction from owning a domesticated rat than they do from a […]

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RightPet Study Finds Kids Choose Rats Over Cats, Dogs

on Oct 16, 2018 in Rat News

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Oct. 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — According to a new international survey conducted by RightPet, children and teens say they get more satisfaction owning rats than any other pets. Not the wild rats seen around garbage dumpsters, but domesticated “fancy rats” which have different colors and fur types. The RightPet Pet Ownership Study was […]

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The Best Horror Movie Reboots of All Time — and a Few of the Very Worst

on Oct 14, 2018 in Rat News

The original TV mini-series based on Stephen King’s novel had plenty to love, specifically Tim Curry’s Pennywise, but the 2017 big screen version wins out. The sequel coming in 2019 is shaping up to be just as impressive, if the cast (Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader) is any indication.

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I was obsessed with the Dolls’ House. The Smithsonian almost tossed it out.

on Oct 13, 2018 in Rat News

Sarah L. Kaufman October 12 at 8:00 AM One of the most popular exhibits in the Smithsonian American History Museum is a five-story dollhouse in a glass case. It was the creation of a librarian named Faith Bradford, a serious collector of miniatures. Take one look at this home and its breathtaking detail — linen […]

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Rampant rats inside home lead Pueblo to consider pet limits

on Oct 12, 2018 in Rat News

KOAA-TV providing News and Weather information for Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Woodland Park, Canon City and all of Southern Colorado. 5520 Tech Center DriveColorado Springs, CO 80919 About us Contact us

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Boy, seven, raises more than £200 for ill children through drawings

on Oct 11, 2018 in Rat News

PUBLISHED: 12:37 11 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:48 11 October 2018 Sophie Smith Seven-year-old Hayden Daly, who sells his drawings for charity. PHOTO: Kellyann Daly Archant Hayden Daly, from Diss, has brought in £215 for East Anglian Children’s Hospices (EACH) in memory of his friend Maddison Turner who passed away aged two from cancer. Hayden […]

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Teacher rips into $80k whingers

on Oct 10, 2018 in Rat News

DESPITE living in one of Australia’s most expensive cities, Damien* says his $23,000 annual income is more than enough to live a comfortable lifestyle. Renting in the suburb of Albion, which sits just 12km from Melbourne’s CBD, Damien lives in a share house with two roommates, his cat and two pet rats. The 45-year-old, who […]

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