Gioachino Rossini’s take on Cinderella is a little bit jarring at first. It’s lacking several of the elements that we traditionally associate with the Cinderella story. There is no fairy godmother, only a mortal tutor of the prince who takes pity on the heroine and brings her to the ball. There’s an evil stepfather and no evil stepmother, and most importantly, no glass slipper. Instead, the story becomes more feminist as Cinderella leaves the ball of her own accord and giving the prince a bracelet commands him to come find her. This puts the emphasis on the opera squarely on Cinderella, and it is her strong will but also her purity that lay at the center of the opera. This comes through in the final aria in which despite all of the vocal frills, her ecstatic joy and belief in human kindness come through.