Rupert Christiansen, always a joy to read even if we often disagree, goes all Cranky McCrankykins on poor Rossini, blasting a hole through La Cenerentola, that masterpiece (ROH podcast here), with a rhetorical shotgun.
Despite a couple of lovely tunes and some ingenious ensembles, the musical substance of the opera is jejune and banal, stuffed with perfunctory runs, sequences and cadences, and buttressed with crude orchestration and raw harmony. Rossini wrote much better operas - Tancredi and La Gazza Ladra, for example - which get far less exposure.
Now, Toby Spence is no Juan Diego (duh), and Evelino Pidò is no Bruno Campanella, and you might like Madge or not (we do, o yes, we do), and anyway il maestro Alessandro Corbelli is firmly in the "can-do-no-wrong" team; but seriously, somebody must have badly interfered with il Ruperto's mood to the point that they horribly clouded his judgement.
Because one thing is clear to any clear-headed observer: between the blinding flashes of surreal humor (Dandini, DonMagnifico), the sweet moments of introspection (Angelina) and her big arias that sound ripped from an opera seria, Rossini wrote in Cenerentola -- also thanks to the libretto by Jacopo Ferretti that has the bulletproof structure and the sustained wit of a Hollywood classic from the 1930s -- a timeless masterpiece, one of his most musically sophisticated works, and a bedrock example of his true genius.
One does not need to listen to the very best version out there to figure that out.