• Details

    A revival of the 2012 Festival production

    ‘Our work requires an extraordinary production: the roles are numerous, and the phantasmagoria is constant’ wrote Ravel. He would doubtless have been delighted by Glyndebourne’s current staging of his two short operas by Laurent Pelly, which scored such a success when first presented in Festival 2012.

    Separated by 15 years and a world war, Ravel’s two sole operas could not be more different: L’heure espagnole evokes the racy Belle Époque of Ravel’s youth, while L’enfant reflects the hard-won humanity of those who survived ‘The War to End All Wars’. L’heure basks in a lush, sensual sound world, while L’enfant deploys large orchestral forces to weave a transparent, almost minimalist musical fabric.

    L’heure espagnole , a Feydeau-esque sex farce about a lusty Spanish woman juggling lovers while her husband is preoccupied with clockwork mechanisms, evokes a Spanish flavour through Ravel’s use of native dance forms including the jota , the habañera and the malagueña .

    L’enfant et les sortilèges , with a libretto by the French novelist Colette, is both a whimsical ‘lyric fantasy’ and a morality play with a deeply serious core. Fairy tale characters, furniture, crockery, plants and animals come to life to chastise a peevish child who has been tormenting them. All ends happily, though, when the child learns compassion. The score features echoes of Gershwin as well as an eclectic blend of influences ranging from Bach and Monteverdi through Massenet, Wagner and Puccini.

    The production’s premiere during Festival 2012 was called ‘pure magic’ by The Financial Times while The Sunday Times urged ‘if there are tickets left… grab them fast.’

    Music director Robin Ticciati leads the London Philharmonic Orchestra, with Glyndebourne favourite Danielle de Niese starring as both Concepción in L’heure and the Child in L’enfant , joined on stage by a predominantly Francophone cast.

    Listen to the Ravel double bill podcast:

    Produced by Mair Bosworth for the 2012 Glyndebourne Festival. Music courtesy of Decca Classics.

    Sung in French with English supertitles

    Supported by The Monument Trust

    Property of Editions Durand, Paris(Universal Music Publishing Group)
    By arrangement with G. Rincordi&Co (London) Ltd.

  • Cast and creative team

    Festival 2015

    Conductor Robin Ticciati
    Director Laurent Pelly

    Set Design

    L’heure espagnole
    Original Set Design Caroline Ginet & Florence Evrard
    Set adapted by Caroline Ginet

    L’enfant et les sortilèges
    Set Designer Barbara de Limburg

    Costume Design Laurent Pelly
    in collaboration with Jean Jacques Delmotte
    Lighting Designer Joël Adam

    L’heure espagnole cast

    Concepción Danielle de Niese
    Ramiro Étienne Dupuis
    Torquemada François Piolino
    Don Íñigo Gómez Lionel Lhote
    Gonzalve Cyrille Dubois

    L’enfant et les sortilèges cast

    Child Danielle de Niese
    Mother/Chinese Cup/Dragonfly Elodie Méchain
    Grandfather Clock/Tom Cat Étienne Dupuis
    Armchair/Tree Lionel Lhote
    Chair/Bat Julie Pasturaud
    Fire/Princess/Nightingale Sabine Devieilhe
    Cat/Squirrel Hanna Hipp
    Shepherd Emma Kerr
    Shepherdess Charlotte Beament
    Teapot/Little Old Man (Arithmetic)/Frog François Piolino
    Owl Pamela Wilcock

    London Philharmonic Orchestra
    The Glyndebourne Chorus

    2015 Cinema screenings and online stream

    During Festival 2015 we will be streaming the 2012 production of the Ravel Double Bill. Please find details of the 2012 cast and creative team below.

    Conductor Kazushi Ono
    Director Laurent Pelly

    Set design

    L’heure espagnole
    Original Set Design Caroline Ginet and Florence Evrard
    Set adapted by Caroline Ginet

    L’enfant et les sortilèges
    Set Design Barbara de Limburg
    Costume Design Laurent Pelly in collaboration with Jean-Jacques Delmotte

    Lighting Designer Joël Adam

    L’heure espagnole cast

    Ramiro Elliot Madore
    Torquemada François Piolino
    Concepción Stéphanie d’Oustrac
    Gonzalve Alek Shrader
    Don Íñigo Gómez Paul Gay

    L’enfant et les sortilèges cast

    Child Khatouna Gadelia
    Mother/Chinese Cup/Dragonfly Elodie Méchain
    Grandfather Clock/ Tom Cat Elliot Madore
    Armchair/ Tree Paul Gay
    Chair/Bat Julie Pasturaud
    Teapot/Little Old Man (Arithmetic)/ Frog François Piolino
    Fire/Princess/Nightingale Kathleen Kim
    Shepherd Natalia Brzezińska
    Shepherdess Hila Fahima
    Cat/Squirrel Stéphanie d’Oustrac
    Owl Kirsty Stokes

    London Philharmonic Orchestra
    The Glyndebourne Chorus

  • Performance schedule
    Date Start Interval Finish Train departs Victoria
    Sat 8 Aug 2015 5:25pm 6:25pm 8:40pm 1.46pm
    Tue 11 Aug 2015 5:25pm 6:25pm 8:40pm 1.46pm
    Thu 13 Aug 2015 5:25pm 6:25pm 8:40pm 1.46pm
    Sun 16 Aug 2015 5:10pm 6:10pm 8:25pm 1.47pm
    Tue 18 Aug 2015 5:25pm 6:25pm 8:40pm 1.46pm
    Fri 21 Aug 2015 5:25pm 6:25pm 8:40pm 1.46pm
    Sun 23 Aug 2015 5:10pm 6:10pm 8:25pm 1.47pm
    Wed 26 Aug 2015 5:25pm 6:25pm 8:40pm 1.46pm
    Fri 28 Aug 2015 5:25pm 6:25pm 8:40pm 1.46pm
    Sun 30 Aug 2015 5:10pm 6:10pm 8:25pm 1.47pm
  • Synopsis

    L’heure espagnole

    Clocks of various shapes and sizes stand around Torquemada’s shop, striking pleasantly. The muleteer Ramiro comes in to have his watch mended. Torquemada’s wife Concepción enters to remind her husband it is time for him to regulate the municipal clocks. She complains that he has not placed one of the two grandfather clocks in her room, as requested. It’s too heavy to move, he responds. He asks Ramiro to await his return while he goes about his business.

    Concepción and Ramiro stand looking at one another. She hints at having the clock carried to her room. Nothing easier, says the muscular muleteer. As he takes it upstairs, Gonzalve is heard arriving.

    Concepción’s lover is a poet who waxes lyrical as they prepare to fling themselves into each other’s arms. On his reappearance she thanks Ramiro. To get rid of him again, she asks him to move the other clock upstairs, bringing the first one back. While he goes back upstairs to retrieve the first clock, Concepción shoves Gonzalve into the second.

    Suddenly the banker Don Íñigo turns up, enquiring after Concepción’s husband. It was he, he admits, who appointed Torquemada to the job of looking after the town’s clocks to get him out of the way. He tries to take Concepción’s hand. The return of Ramiro with clock number one saves her. Ramiro picks up the second clock (containing Gonzalve) without difficulty. Concepción is impressed and follows him upstairs.

    Left alone, Íñigo decides he would improve his image as a playful lover by hiding in the remaining clock. As he does so Ramiro reappears, charged by Concepción with minding the shop. Suddenly she returns, complaining at the upstairs clock’s noisy innards. Would Ramiro kindly bring it back down? He instantly obliges.

    Íñigo declares his love to Concepción. She begins to see his potential. Ramiro returns with the first clock (containing Gonzalve) and offers to take up the second (containing Íñigo). Concepción accepts his suggestion. Opening the first clock, she tries to dismiss Gonzalve, who is reluctant to leave. She deserts him and he retires into his clock as Ramiro returns. He looks around the shop with admiration; if he were not a muleteer, he would like to be a clockmaker. As Concepción returns, he divines her unhappiness with the second clock and goes to retrieve it.

    Left alone, Concepción expresses dissatisfaction with both her lovers.

    As Ramiro returns yet again, she appreciates his physical strength. She sends him back to her room – this time without a clock to carry – then follows him.

    Íñigo and Gonzalve peep out of their hiding places, shutting themselves back in as Torquemada returns. He apologises for keeping them waiting. Noting their interest in the insides of the two clocks, he insists that they buy them. Ramiro and Concepción return and all join in the moral: in the pursuit of love, there comes a moment when it’s the muleteer’s turn.

    George Hall

    L’enfant et les sortilèges

    A Child is grumbling as he does his homework; he plots naughty deeds.

    His Mother enters to check on him. She is cross that he has done nothing but spatter the carpet with ink; he responds by putting out his tongue. His punishment is dry bread and tea without sugar while he considers his behaviour.

    Left alone, the angry Child gives way to naughtiness. He knocks the Teapot and Chinese Cup off the table. He pricks the caged Squirrel with his pen nib. He pulls the Tom Cat’s tail. He pokes the Fire and kicks the kettle over. He breaks the pendulum of the Grandfather Clock. He tears up his books. He vandalises the painted figures on the wallpaper.

    As he prepares to fling himself into the Armchair, it hobbles away. Now the room comes alive. As the Child watches, the Armchair joins with the Chair, both demanding their freedom from him. The Grandfather Clock complains at the damage done to him. The Teapot and Chinese Cup threaten revenge and dance off.

    Feeling cold, the Child approaches the Fire, who tells him that he warms the good but burns the bad. The Child has offended the household gods that protect him. He begins to feel afraid.

    The wallpaper figures, including the Shepherd and Shepherdess, mourn their destruction. The Child weeps. Out of one of his torn books rises the Princess, complaining that he has wrecked the story she was in; he is too weak to rescue her from her enchanter and she sinks underground. Little Old Man (Arithmetic) arrives and he and his Numbers bombard the Child with questions. The Tom Cat, emerging from beneath the Armchair, spits at him and joins with the female Cat in drawing the Child into the garden. A Tree groans at the wound the Child inflicted on him the day before. Feeling pity, the Child lays his cheek against it. The garden begins to teem with life. The Dragonfly searches for his mate, whom the Child regretfully admits he caught and pinned to the wall. The Bat tells him he has killed the mother of his children. The Squirrel warns the Frog against the cage the Child will put him in. He realises that the animals love each other, but not him.

    The Animals and Trees unite in a desire for revenge. They throw themselves upon him. A Squirrel is injured. The Child binds his paw with a ribbon. The animals notice that he, too, has been hurt. Concerned, they surround and tend him.

    As a light goes on in the house, the animals withdraw, praising the Child’s newfound wisdom and kindness. Holding out his arms, the Child calls for his mother.

    George Hall