CinDerella: Act 1
Angelina ("Cenerentola"/ Cinderella) is forced to work as the maid in the run-down house of her stepfather Don Magnifico. While his two mean, idle daughters, Clorinda and Tisbe, try on their gowns and jewelry, Cenerentola sings a ballad about a king who found his wife among common folk. A beggar comes calling. Clorinda and Tisbe want to send him away, but Cenerentola offers him bread and coffee. Courtiers arrive to announce that Prince Ramiro is looking for the most beautiful girl in the land to be his bride, and is on his way to pay them a visit. Prince Ramiro arrives, disguised as his own valet in order to observe the women without them knowing. He is immediately struck with admiration for Cenerentola and she for him. Cenerentola has to leave when her stepsisters call her. Don Magnifico enters and Ramiro tells him the Prince will arrive shortly. The "prince" is actually Dandini, Ramiro's valet in disguise.
The stepsisters arrive and fawn gleefully over Dandini, who invites them to a ball at the Royal palace. Don Magnifico tells Cenerentola that she cannot accompany them to the ball, despite her pleading. Before leaving, Ramiro notices how badly Cenerentola is treated. His tutor, Alidoro, who had been at the house earlier disguised as the beggar, arrives still wearing his rags and asks for Don Magnifico's third daughter. Magnifico denies she is still alive, but when Alidoro is left alone with Cenerentola, he tells her that she will accompany him to the ball. He throws off his beggar's clothes and identifies himself as a member of Prince Ramiro's court, telling her that heaven will reward her pure heart.
The stepsisters and Don Magnifico arrive at Prince Ramiro's palace, with Dandini still posing as the Prince. Dandini offers Magnifico a tour of the wine cellar, hoping to get him drunk. He then disentangles himself from the family and tells Ramiro how stupid and obnoxious the two sisters are. Ramiro is confused since Alidoro had spoken well of one of Magnifico's daughters. Clorinda and Tisbe enter and impatiently pressure Dandini to declare his "princely" choice. Without committing himself, Dandini ponders the question "Whom will the rejected sister marry?" and suggests Ramiro as a possible husband. Believing him to be a mere valet, the two sisters reject Ramiro as a despicable choice and insult him to his face. Alidoro announces the arrival of an unknown, lavishly dressed yet veiled, lady (Cenerentola). All sense something familiar about her and feel they are in a dream but on the verge of being awakened with a shock.
Cinderella: Act 2
Don Magnifico, Clorinda, and Tisbe are in a room of Ramiro's palace. Magnifico frets over the unknown woman who threatens the chance for one of his daughters to marry Prince Ramiro. The three leave and Ramiro enters, smitten with the unknown woman who resembles the girl he had met that morning. He conceals himself as Dandini arrives with Cenerentola and tries to court her. She turns Dandini down politely, telling him that she is in love with his valet. Ramiro steps forth and declares his love for her. She then leaves giving him one of a pair of matching bracelets and saying that if he really cares for her, he will find her. Encouraged by Alidoro, Ramiro calls his men together to begin searching for her. Meanwhile, Dandini confesses to Don Magnifico that he is really Prince Ramiro's valet. Magnifico becomes highly indignant, and Dandini orders him out of the palace.
At Magnifico's house, Cenerentola, once again dressed in rags, is tending the fire and singing her ballad. Magnifico and his daughters return from the ball in a vile mood, and order Cenerentola to prepare their supper. A thunderstorm rages. Dandini suddenly appears at the door to say that Prince Ramiro's carriage has overturned outside and brings him into the house. Cenerentola fetches a chair for the prince and realizes he is Ramiro. He recognizes her bracelet and the couple are reunited. Don Magnifico, Clorinda and Tisbe are furious. Angered by their cruelty to Cenerentola, Ramiro threatens to punish them, but Cenerentola asks him to be merciful. As Cenerentola leaves with her prince, Alidoro thanks heaven for the happy outcome.
In the throne room of Ramiro's palace, Magnifico tries to curry favour with his stepdaughter, the new princess, but she only wants to be acknowledged as his daughter. Cenerentola asks the prince to forgive Magnifico and the two stepsisters. Her father and stepsisters embrace her as she declares that her days of toiling by the fire are over.