Water Castle Hallwyl: opera under the stars
The conductor raises his baton and pauses for a moment in midair before his orchestra.
An expectant hush settles over the audience. The evening sun withdraws the last golden rays from stage and orchestra, and the fragrant scent of the old linden tree branches spread wide overtop of the concertgoers fills the nostrils.
The baton falls and the music to Gioachino Rossini’s playful opera La Cenerentola has begun.
Written following the success of The Barber of Seville, this opera is arguably considered Rossini’s greatest operatic achievement.
The universal Cinderella story (except not quite!), the glorious music and the professional performance of this opera company hold the audience spellbound. We hardly notice how the darkness folds itself around us and how the sparkling stars have turned on their twinkle above us.
The plot continues to unfold to Rossini’s spirited music and is acted out in wonderfully humorous ways by the singers who are enlivened by the rapt attention, appreciative chuckles and ripples of laughter coming from the audience.
Rossini composed La Cenerentola when he was 25 years young, within a short three weeks, and the opera is considered to have some of his finest writing for solo voice and ensembles.
In short, it is a delight to take in La Cenerentola at any time, but – not only have as a stage – but being seated inside this 12th century castle with drawbridge, thick walls and tower, set on two islands in the middle of a river, under an open sky; – it doesn’t get any better than that!
Every three years, the Opera Society organizes a similar performance at Water Castle Hallwyl, the noble family’s home of the same name for 800 years.
Catch it this summer – it’s on until August 28th, or plan for seeing the next playful opera during the summer of 2021!