At the premiere of Cinderella the audience and artists revelled not only in the cheerful melodies, but also in the minutiae of the action. Thanks to the talent, taste and witty humour of Alexander Petrov, the sugary story acquired a dramatic element, blossomed with comic details and turned into an absorbing spectacle.
Varvara Svintsova. "Delovoy Peterburg"
This is an absolutely classic alliance between director and conductor. Petrov and Bubelnikov have done everything together, even as far as the composition of the recitatives. It is not the first time an approach that is new but effective when skilfully employed has been used at "Zazerkalye": the audience learns what it needs to know about the content from the secco recitatives, performed in Russian with harpsichord accompaniment. The melodic recitatives with orchestra, arias and ensembles are sung in Italian. The Russian text has been written with humour, with a tactful sprinkling of modern idioms and with an understanding of the laws of musical intonation, and so is grasped by the audience easily and with pleasure.
The chemistry of the production is striking. Its initial studiedness gives the performers a freedom that seems like improvisation. In actual fact, everything is worked out down to the last detail. The trick, evidently, is that Petrov and Bubelnikov, both born teachers, have not simply staged a production. They have managed to draw the cast into a special atmosphere of extremely musical and rhythmic acting, where the musical text is sung with the utmost intelligence and the distance between the performer and the character is maintained.
Nora Potapova. Мuzykalnaya Zhizn'.
Rhythm and tempo are the alpha and omega of opera buffa. I was terribly afraid that the cast wouldn't fit everything in, that they wouldn't keep up, but not once did I feel the urge to spur them on. The actors feel the music, which is resilient like mercury. They live in rhythm – even their eyebrows are plucked in rhythm.
Yevgeny Sokolinsky. Chas Pik
…At the premiere the soloists and the male ensemble, almost without exception, blended perfectly into Rossini's vocal format, though it would be truer to say that the production as a whole blended into the format of the style. At the end of the performance the audience were almost ecstatic. Alexander Petrov has managed to create a spectacle that is fairly contemporary, terribly ironic and absolutely European in spirit.
Vladimir Dudin. Nezavisimaya Gazeta