The writer, Jacopo Ferretti, tweaked the story a little from the classic fairy tale to make it easier to stage – instead of a glass slipper Cinderella wore a pair of beautiful bracelets; and instead of a fairy godmother, a wise (and very rich) philosopher helped Cinderella to make it to the dance in style. Cinderella was very sweet and very sassy – my kind of girl. Her stepsisters were garishly dressed, and her stepfather (instead of stepmother) was a buffoon.
In another plot twist the prince switched places with his valet so he could more easily observe the young ladies. Of course, this led to some very funny scenes where the step-sisters spurned the real prince, thinking he was the valet; and where the valet revealed that he was, in fact, not the prince. Classic.
In the end, love won out and everyone lived happily ever after – even the horrible step-family. The opera proclaims (quite loudly) a message that God will reward goodness and that forgiveness is the best revenge.
(Considering that I’m a Soprano is it bad that I’m a little bit in love with the Tenor? He was quite lovely and his high notes were swoon-worthy.)