Among Rossini?s numerous comic operas, La Cenerentola (1817) has long held a place second only to The Barber of Seville. In fact, for many years it was often more popular than The Barber, until its extreme vocal difficulties became too much for a generation of singers not trained in the Rossini style, and its fantastic atmosphere fell afoul of a preference for verismo, the school of realism. In recent years, the revival of the bel canto style and intense interest in resurrecting authentic Rossini manuscripts has brought about a happy new lease on life for La Cenerentola, which once again is rivaling The Barber in popularity. The libretto by Jacopo Ferretti, though based on the Cinderella fairy tale as told by Charles Perrault, is far different in tone. Rossini and Ferretti agreed to suppress the supernatural themes and create a comedy of manners steeped in irony.This live performance, recorded in Naples in 1958, is one of the finest of its era, with a virtual all-star cast thoroughly schooled in the Rossini style.