The Belleayre Festival Opera presents Rossini’s ‘Cinderella’

Highmount — “Cinder-ella,” one of the world’s most beloved tales, will be brought to life in a Belleayre Festival Opera on Saturday, Aug. 28 at 8 p.m.

This fully staged performance will be sung in English with a company of 45 performers. Included will be top soloists who have appeared in many of the world’s foremost opera venues, among them: the Baltimore Opera Center, Cleveland Symphony Pops Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera and the New York City Opera.

Artistic Director /Producer/ Stage Director Donald Westwood returns to put his signature stamp on the timeless story of Rossini’s “Cinderella” (“La Cenerentola”). “In this variation of the traditional “Cinderella” story, the wicked stepmother is replaced by a stepfather, Don Magnifico. The Fairy Godmother is replaced by Alidoro, a philosopher and the Prince’s tutor. Cinderella is identified not by her glass slipper but by her bracelet. The show will reflect Mr. Westwood’s unique comic stamp.
Opera News magazine has called Mr. Westwood's shows “a dynamic alternative to the giants at Lincoln Center.”

Several years ago, the Belleayre Conservatory commissioned Don Westwood to create a new children’s opera based on the children’s story “The Three Little Pigs.” The opera had its world premiere in 2007 at the festival and received an enthusiastic reception from the audience. This interactive performance features music from great opera composers and lyrics and story by Mr. Westwood.

In a career approaching four decades, Donald Westwood has capitalized, produced, directed, marketed, and managed more than 200 productions in the fields of musical theatre, opera, operetta, concerts, special events, and programs for young audiences and senior citizens. His productions have been seen from Maine to Key West, from New York City to Las Vegas and the West Coast, and from Brazil to Australia.

Mr. Westwood is Artistic Director of the Jacksonville Lyric Opera, where he will produce and direct “Die Fledermaus”and “Cinderella.” In addition, he will produce a national tour of Oklahoma next year.

Richard Tucker’s Community Chorale Chorale of the Catskills and chamber orchestra conducted by maestro John Covelli, will provide musical backing. All school-age children and teens are invited to attend this performance free when accompanied by an adult.

Completing the opera-themed weekend will be free performance of the Children’s Opera Theater production of “Three Little Pigs” on Sunday, Aug. 29 at 1 p.m. The Community Chorale of the Catskills has participated in programs at the Belleayre Music Festival since 2001.

Nevilles close season
The 2010 Belleayre Music Festival wraps up on Saturday, Sept. 4 at 8 p.m. in red-hot style when New Orleans’ favorite sons, Aaron Neville and his Quintet, featuring Charles Neville, take the stage.

Tickets for all shows in the 2010 summer concert season at the Belleayre Music Festival, are on sale via Ticketmaster. For additional information, please call 800 942-6904, ext. 1344, visit: www.belleayremusic.org or e-mail: festival@catskill.net.

For information on where to stay, dine, shop or to simply enjoy the great outdoors when you’re in town for the Belleayre Music Festival, please visit: www.catskillhighpeaks.com, www.ulstertourism.info or www.greatwesterncatskills.com.

Belleayre Music Festival concerts are held on the grounds of Belleayre Mountain in Highmount.
Media sponsors are WDST Radio in Woodstock, WKZE Radio in Red Hook and Albany.com