CATALAN director Joan Font and his designer Joan Guillén’s La Cenerentola is a piece of musical theatre that is fun and frivolous and played for laughs.

It might not be to everyone’s liking, verging on the panto, yet coming in the wake of the gargantuan Prokofiev’s War and Peace that opened this season, this purely for pleasure revival directed by Xevi Dorca does come as light relief.

First seen in 2007, this is a sit back and enjoy take on Rossini’s La Cenerentola and visual delight, with no great pretentions to be deeply meaningful nor making overblown statements for our contemporary world.

The characters are straight from commedia dell'arte in look and performance and set in a cartoon set design that is more functional than fussy.

It is a make believe world where anthropomorphic rodents accompany Cinders on her fairtyale journey, helping the equally fantastical Alidoro in a costume redolent of Mickey Mouse wizard from Fantasia, as he weaves his morality tale magic to ensure goodness triumphs over greed, pride and vanity.

Those shockingly naughty qualities come in the form of the two ridiculous sisters, played wonderfully by Aoife Miskelly and Heather Lowe and the fatuous Baron Magnifico played for all the possibilities for buffoonery by Fabio Capitanucci. Tara Erraught grows with the role and all builds to her show stopping (and show ending) final gorgeous Rossini bel canto aria.

Wojtek Gierlach sang Alidoro with gravitas while Matteo Macchioni gave us an elegant Ramiro with agility and thrills in the right places. Giorgio Caoduro was a splendid Dandini who is the pivotal player in delivering the subterfuge at the heart of the whimsical tale and all with comedic delight.

WNO Music Director Tomáš Hanus brings out the wit, tenderess and pulse racing jollity of Rossini’s score.

Don’t expect anything profound – just go for a whimsical evening out with some fine singing and playing.

By Mike Smith