Rossini’s La Cenerentola (or Cinderella) is one of the most popular comic operas in the classical repertoire – the timeless fairy tale about the triumph of virtue over snobbery. Its first performance at Rome’s Teatro Valle in January 1817 – when the composer was not yet 25 – was the customary fiasco. More recently, audiences have laughed at Rossini’s wit, gasped at the momentum of his crescendos and marvelled at dazzling coloratura from great sopranos such as Cecilia Bartoli. The opera moves at the same frantic pace at which Rossini worked to compose it. Written by Michael Steen, author of the acclaimed The Lives and Times of the Great Composers, ‘Short Guides to Great Operas’ are concise, entertaining and easy to read books about opera. Each is an opera guide packed with useful information and informed opinion, helping to make you a truly knowledgeable opera-goer, and so maximising your enjoyment of a great musical experience. Other ‘Short Guides to Great Operas’ that you may enjoy include The Magic Flute, L’Elisir d’Amore and La Traviata.