Maurice Ravel

Ravel Double Bill

9 November - 14 November
Screenings from the 2012 Festival

View Australian Cinema listings 9 - 14 November

L’heure espagnole and L’enfant et les sortilèges

"This is Glyndebourne operating once again at world-class level, and is by some distance the most captivating staging of this magical opera I have seen. If there are tickets left for the remaining performances this week and next, grab them fast."

Hugh Canning, Sunday Times August 12

Ravel’s two one-act operas will reunite director Laurent Pelly and conductor Kazushi Ono, who made their Glyndebourne debuts in 2008 with Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel. While L’enfant et les sortilèges shares with that opera a child’s-eye view of a sometimes threatening world, L’heure espagnole is a thoroughly adult confection.

The play on which Ravel based his opéra espagnole is a clever conceit set in the house of a clockmaker. It compares the wound-up mechanism of a clock with the erotic compulsions driving flesh-and-blood humans. Concepción devises a complex sequence of moves and counter-moves to conceal the presence of her various admirers. While directing these activities she becomes increasingly impressed by the physical attributes of her unwitting accomplice, Ramiro.

Stéphanie d’Oustrac, who last sang at Glyndebourne as Sesto in Giulio Cesare, will sing Concepción, while Canadian baritone Elliot Madore will make his UK and Glyndebourne debut as Ramiro.

In L’enfant et les sortilèges, inanimate objects come to life when a child, fed up with doing his homework, throws a temper tantrum. All the things that have been damaged by him start to voice their objections: a broken cup and teapot, a shepherd and shepherdess from the wallpaper he ripped, a battered armchair and the princess from the torn pages of a story book.

When the sums from his homework and the animals and plants in the garden turn on the child as well, Ravel’s music reaches a fierce climax. Only the child’s kindness to an injured squirrel saves him and brings the opera to a touchingly poignant conclusion.

Rated five stars by the Daily Mail.

Rated four stars by the Guardian.

 “...a sparkling evening,” says The Independent.

“ evening of genuine enchantment,” says The Stage.

Read an interview with director Laurent Pelly on Opera Today.

A new production for the 2012 Festival

Supported by Michael and Dorothy Hintze

Sung in French with English supertitles

This production of L’heure espagnole was originally created for Opéra National de Paris

The Glyndebourne Festival 2012 Ravel Double Bill is a co-production with the Saito Kinen Festival

L’heure espagnole / L’enfant et les sortilèges. Property of Editions Durand Paris (Universal Music Publishing Classical). By arrangement with G. Ricordi & Co (London) Limited.

Listen to the Ravel Double Bill podcast (21 mins)

Peggy Reynolds gives an introduction to two of the early twentieth century’s most intriguing operas, Maurice Ravel’s L’heure Espagnole and L’enfant et les Sortileges. General Director of Glyndebourne David Pickard praises Ravel’s mastery of orchestration and the unique soundworlds he creates in these two fascinating works. Richard Langham Smith, Research Professor at the Royal College of Music, explores the operatic farce of L’heure Espagnole and considers psychoanalytic readings of L’enfant et les Sortileges. And pianist and musicologist Dr Emily Kilpatrick explores the texts upon which the operas were based and tells us of Ravel’s fascination with Spain, childhood, and the music of machines. (Producer: Mair Bosworth)

Musical extracts used with kind permission of Decca.

Download this podcast (right click and select 'Save file as')

L’heure espagnole and L’enfant et les sortilèges

Maurice Ravel

The performance is captured live

This performance can be seen 9 November - 14 November

We want to share our work with as many people as possible. Broadcasts have been part of the Glyndebourne story since the 1930s, and in 2007 we were the first opera house in the UK to screen performances into cinemas.

Please note that intervals for all events are 30 minutes. For the many people now enjoying opera at the cinema, 30 minutes is a more realistic length of time to take a break. This means that we start our cinema transmissions a little after curtain-up at Glyndebourne and catch up for the second half.

Ticket prices:
£20 (full price) / £15 (concessions) / £13 members (Picturehouse venues only, prices may vary otherwise)

Click on the following website for more details of the season, or you can either telephone or visit your local cinema.

Picture House

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 Concepcion 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.

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

Concepcion’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, Concepcion shoves Gonzalve into the second. 

Suddenly the banker Don Inigo turns up, enquiring after Concepcion’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 Concepcion’s hand. The return of Ramiro with clock number 1 saves her. Ramiro picks up the second clock (containing Gonzalve) without difficulty. Concepcion is impressed and follows him upstairs. 

Left alone, Inigo decides he would improve his image as a playful lover by hiding in the remaining clock. As he does so Ramiro reappears, charged by Concepcion 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.

Inigo declares his love to Concepcion. She begins to see his potential. Ramiro returns with the first clock (containing Gonzalve) and offers to take up the second (containing Inigo). Concepcion 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 Concepcion returns, he divines her unhappiness with the second clock, and goes to retrieve it. 

Left alone, Concepcion 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.

Inigo 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 Concepcion return and all join in the moral: in the pursuit of love, there comes a moment when it’s the muleteer’s turn.

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. Arithmetic, a little old man, 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. He calls for his mother.

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. They call out for his mother. 

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

Creative team

Conductor Kazushi Ono
Laurent Pelly
Set Designers
L’heure espagnole Caroline Ginet and Florence Evrard
L’enfant et les sortilèges Barbara De Limburg
Costume Designer Laurent Pelly
Lighting Designer Joël Adam

L’heure espagnole cast

Ramiro Elliot Madore
François Piolino
Stéphanie d'Oustrac
Alek Shrader
Don Íñigo Gómez
Paul Gay

L’enfant et les sortilèges cast

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

London Philharmonic Orchestra

The Glyndebourne ChorusL’enfant et les sortilèges

Audio files: 

With kind permission of Deutsche Grammophon

This recording is available to buy on CD from the Glyndebourne Shop

Torquemada (François Piolino) in L’heure espagnole, Festival 2012. Photo: Simon Annand.
Ramiro (Elliot Madore) in L’heure espagnole, Festival 2012. Photo: Simon Annand.
Gonzalve (Alek Shrader) in L’heure espagnole, Festival 2012. Photo: Simon Annand.
Concepción (Stéphanie d'Oustrac) and Torquemada (François Piolino) in L’heure espagnole, Festival 2012. Photo: Simon Annand.
Concepción (Stéphanie d'Oustrac) in L’heure espagnole, Festival 2012. Photo: Simon Annand.
Don Íñigo Gómez (Paul Gay) in L’heure espagnole, Festival 2012. Photo: Simon Annand.
Child (Khatouna Gadelia) in L’enfant et les sortilèges, Festival 2012. Photo: Simon Annand.
Chair (Julie Pasturaud) in L’enfant et les sortilèges, Festival 2012. Photo: Simon Annand.
Grandfather Clock (Elliot Madore) and Child (Khatouna Gadelia) in L’enfant et les sortilèges, Festival 2012. Photo: Simon Annand
Teapot (François Piolino), Child (Khatouna Gadelia) and Chinese Cup (Elodie Méchain), Festival 2012. Photo: Simon Annand.
Child (Khatouna Gadelia) and Fire (Kathleen Kim) in L’enfant et les sortilèges, Festival 2012. Photo: Simon Annand.
Child (Khatouna Gadelia) and wallpaper figures in L’enfant et les sortilèges. Photo: Simon Annand.
Child (Khatouna Gadelia) in L’enfant et les sortilèges, Festival 2012. Photo: Simon Annand.
Frog (François Piolino) in L’enfant et les sortilèges, Festival 2012. Photo: Simon Annand.
Child (Khatouna Gadelia) in L’enfant et les sortilèges, Festival 2012. Photo: Simon Annand.


The performance was wonderful,a great introduction for young people to opera along with amazing lighting, scenery and costumes.We also attended the family workshop again this year which was disappointing apart from the singers. Dominic Harlan's presentations have always been so magical,active and inclusive, we really missed him!

This was a great choice for your child friendly performance - and I was encouraged to see more children than last year. Please do the child tickets again - it is a great experience and everyone seemed to behave beautifully as far as I could see. Everyone seemed especially welcoming and we were particularly impressed by some staff who were very kind to us after the monsoon struck. thank you!

Hugh Canning's review in the 12 August Sunday Times was spot on. It had whetted our appetite before going and the praise proved justified.
Not sure that l'heure was entirely suitable for some of the younger members of the audience (who were all well behaved during the performances) but congratulations Glyndebourne for encouraging attendance.

We had an absolute ball. I was brought up on Glyndebourne (grandmother lived in Glynde) but my husband and 17-year-old daughter haven't been so lucky, and this was the first visit for the daughter and only the second for the husband. Neither is musical, but this double-bill completely captivated them - to me, it was Glyndebourne at its perfect best. L'heure espagnol is a top-notch farce which was matched by a most wonderful production, fabulous singing and playing and some gloriously over-the-top acting. And just when we thought it couldn't get better, L'enfant et les sortileges delivered 45 minutes of pure magic which will live in all our memories for a long time to come. Gloriously imaginative, movingly and sublimely sung and acted - we just loved every second of it. Away from the auditorium, what fun it was to wander in the glorious gardens, play spot-the-best-frock (prizes for the most elegant) and later to dodge the buckets of rain en route to our (cannily-positioned under cover) picnic. It was all the most enormous treat, and worth every minute of the epic trek from rural north-east Suffolk . Thank you for the most memorable and joyous evening.

L'enfant et les sortileges was one of the most magical productions we have ever seen (in about 50 years of opera-going). Absolutely enchanting (and wonderful musically).

I absolutely loved the Ravel Double Bill on 13th August. Enchanting, amazing, funny & exquisite.

My friend and I knew almost nothing about Ravel's work so brought with us only expectations of Glyndebourne's high standards. We weren't disappointed. We enjoyed the first opera as a farce that mocked some fairly stock 'types' and relied on pace, superb singing and a witty set. We weren't bowled over by Ravel's music. L'enfant was another matter: wonderful music was integral to the narrative and atmosphere and the design/costume ideas were often breathtaking. The redemptive ending was oddly moving, lifting the story beyond a merely quirky cautionary tale. Wonder if Maurice Sendak knew this opera?

Glorious evening of Ravel double bill. Fantastic sets and wonderful music. I shall always remember the elegant wallpaper figures coming to life in L'enfant.

I have vivid glowing memories of David Hockney's very colourful and inventive designs for "L'Enfant et les sortileges" that I saw at Covent Garden about two decades ago. I thus very much look forward to seeing Glyndebourne's new production live at the local cinema this coming weekend. Its had rave reviews so I look forward to being as delighted and enchanted as I was by Hockney's gloriously magical production. I'm only sorry I can't get down to Glyndebourne itself to see the production live...

L'Heure was well done and entertaining, or would have been if it had been a play.

However, L'Enfant was just out of this world. It could not have been done better. Of particular note was the coloratura of Kim (playing princess, nightingale and fire).

For such a surrealistic setting it seems strange but the emotions portayed were far more believable than any other opera I can think of except perhaps Dido.

Ravel's music in L'Enfant was everything one could possibly ask for and beautifully played and sung.

An excellent "double bill". The whole evening was magical and fun - a night to remember! Thank you.

The performance last night of the Ravel double especially L’infant et les sortilèges was ravishing - the singing the orchestra, sets costumes and the 'magic garden'. We managed to have a picnic before the first part and 'frock watch', after which the heavens opened which had its English summer romantic charm - warm rain, scented air from the late summer garden, people scurrying for cover, the women and young beauties in their beautiful dresses and ridiculous shoes with stilt heels, (the sensible ones discarding them to enjoy walking through the warm puddles) and the men in their mortuary dress suits, rescuing picnics and cramming into the covered terraces with their tables three course picnics and champagne, a delightful scene. Where else but in arcadia.

L'Enfant et les sortilèges must be one of the most difficult operas to direct. The arrival of animals, clocks, teacups and then the hallucinating scene in the garden must present almost insurmountable problems to the Director. Luarent Pelly seems to have succeeded in a masterly fashion. Congratulations on having used French-speaking singers, it is so important to understand Colette's text. The orchestra sounded sumptuous;

I visited Glyndebourne for the first time with a friend who "doesn't like opera". She is now a convert. We thoroughly enjoyed both performances and the whole Glyndebourne experience. Thank you.

Wonderful evening, loved the contents and sets of these two operas. Thank you once again.

Another fabulous Glyndebourne success, with both L'heure espagnole and L'enfant et les sortilèges leaving us wanting more. This time it wasn't the music that did it for us (the singing and acting as was perfect as we've come to expect, and the orchestra superb), but the stage sets, costumes, and direction that showed wonderful invention.

Thank you for another wonderful Glyndebourne experience.

It was absolutely beautiful!

I was at the first night which was utterly delightful. Superb performances and conducting, and what I liked most was that both productions were witty, clever and possessed that old fashioned virtue of CHARM. Many congratulations

Two brilliant productions which to fault at all would only be niggling. The designers' imagination never ceases to amaze. However, for those of us who can only afford the side seats, could a little less of the action take place at the extreme sides of the stage?
Brilliant pre-performance recital by three young singers; demonstrates the amount of talent available in the future.

Not a regular at Glyndebourne (rather expensive for me usually) I at last managed to get 2 seats at a very good price. I absolutely loved ' L'enfant' - wonderful music, absolutely magical, and stunningly staged and sung, and could have watched it all over again immediately! I was not so keen on 'L'Heure Espagnol' - a bit too much like a sung Whitehall farce for us... but nevertheless beautifully and naughtily done.

hard act to follow after the fairy queen last night but was brilliantly done, a tad short, but the staging and singing were excellent and for us we ended up with two memorable evenings at glynebourne

Thoroughly enjoyed both. In fact, the production of L'Heure helped me better appreciate this piece, one which I had like many felt was musically less interesting than L'Enfant. It's really just a bawdy farce so the comic element in the acting and the set was appreciated. The psychological elements of L'Enfant came through and the mannerisms of a young child were well acted. For me, these were some of the best designed productions of recent years. I hope this programme was a box office success. I certainly commend your increasingly interesting choice of material. Goodness, we'll have Bluebeard one day! But we still have Purcell to come.

Apart from the many visual and vocal delights which we enjoyed enormously, a word of praise for the fabulous playing of the LPO. Ravel"s masterly score deserves orchestral playing of this superb quality. All in all a memorable evening on August 10th and even the weather played its part.

We thought it one of the best evenings we have ever had at Glyndebourne, but that's difficult as we have had so many & varied.

Sparklingly imaginative,uplifting,inspiring and a musical delight.Also, we think & hope, a good intro for the young.

Do it again & thanks.

We had a brilliant evening. Thank you for giving me over 50 years of wonderful opera going at Glyndebourne.

L'enfant was one of the best pieces of theatre I have seen in a long time. Sensational.

This is such a good show - *please* will you revive it very soon? Fantastic invention - Pelly is a genius and the orchestral playing was top-drawer. Stephanie d'Oustrac was outstanding but all the cast deserve much credit. Many congratulations to all concerned.

A wonderful evening. Neither of us knew what we were in for and came away full of admiration for the beautiful singing, gorgeous orchestral interpretation and simply (not simple at all) stunning sets for both operas. Seeing it from a restricted view standing place I would love to return and view it from the opposite side! Another Glyndebourne triumph!

We felt the evening was poor value for money. The two pieces were in noways compatible with the normal Glyndebourne standard or duration of performance. These were more like pantomimes than operas . The works did not offer the performers the opportunity to show their true singing talents and we were very grateful to the singers in the pre evening concert for the quality of their singing and the operas from which they sang

I have waited over 40 years to see L'enfant, having been given an LP of it as a child - what a worthwhile wait! The production sits up there with the best (including the wonderful ETO Gianni Schicchi) - magical, witty, evocative, bits of nightmare and humour with all put right at the end. I do hope this production is on the revival list - I'm sure a second visit with be even more enjoyable (if possible).

Watching it, I do wonder if there is a link between the Garden scene at the end and Make our Garden grow at the end of Candide.....

The quality of voices and characterisation in L'Heure Espanol was superb. The production was excellent although I found the sets a bit fussy and overdone. L'Enfant was a great realisation. Together I think they rated four and a half stars, almost but not quite up to the perfection of Glyndeboune's greatest.

I tend to go for your Janacek, Britten or Strauss operas which have always been quite superb, so it was with some reservations that I was persuaded to try the Ravel. How wrong I was as I found it one of the most wonderful of all my many Glyndebourne evenings (going back to Ariadne in 1957). Marvellously inventive productions and out of this world orchestral palying. Trouble was there was so much going on that I need to see them again to get full value out of this fabulous music! And how heartening to be there on an under thirties night and find such a vibrant audience. You truly are an amazing institution!

A perfect evening. The Production was wonderfully imaginative and the performances consistently excellent. If only all opera productions were as sensitive to the work being performed as this one was!

My wife & I managed to get two tickets for this double bill...
Although not Opera experts we found both acts highly enjoyable, witty , quirky and with wonderful set designs.
Many many congratulations to everyone involved.
A truly memorable experience..!

We arrived at 4pm, saw the Jerwood recitals and still none of us wanted the evening to end at 10pm.
Today I am left with a deeper sense of connection to the world and a bit lighter in spirit.
These operas appeal to all ages and there are a few children I can think of who I would like to see L'enfents!
Performance wise - dazzling, beyond my wildest dreams production I can't imagine that anyone could improve on this. In fact I have the sense that if I were to see another production it would be a huge let down.
Musically, during L'heure, there were places where the music didn't match the scene on the stage and I had to look away because I wanted to go with the music.
Congratulations Glyndebourne the audience applauded the set of L'enfents quite rightly so - it was out of this world!

Congratulations for putting these two Ravel operas together.A happy mariage and it made for a great, fun evening. First class productions and excellent singing too and what a pleasure to see so many young people in the audience. I hope they will return for full length and a little more testing operas in due course!

An excellent evening, particularly "L'Enfant". It makes all the difference to have native speakers of French, and Stephanie d'Oustrac weas marvellously sensual as Concepcion. The only thing I didn't like about "L'Heure" was the updating. I don't see the point, especially as the sort of behaviour shown was much more daring in 1911 than in 1970(at least, since it's a 20th century opera, it was less drastic than the updating of "Figaro", which I hated) Also, Don Inigo would have looked much more comically pompous in a stiff collar and perhaps a top hat . The set was brilliant, though (I like the touch of having a bicycle in both operas), very Spaninsh in atmosphere, and so was the lighting, especially at the end.

No reservations about "L'Enfant". My favourite moment was the scene with Fire and perhaps the second favourite was the teapot and cup. The wallpaper figures were very convincing. I saw the double bill at Glyndebourne once before (1987, I think) and it was much better done this time; I'd never before realised why "L'Enfant" should be thought a masterpiece, but I do now.

The performance of L'Heure was well, but not outstandingly, sung. The set was over cluttered with some irrelevant detail, and the acting was overdone. L'Enfant was also well sung and the production was fine if not the last word in charm and fantasy.

I enjoyed these operas very much and both the study day and Peggy Reynolds introduction were illuminating. I am sorry that Rodney Milnes article in the programme was so disappointing. Only the last two paragraphs were worth reading.

We have been regular visitors to Glyndebourne for nearly 40 years and this one belongs right up there amongst the best performances we have attended. Both operas beautifully staged, sung and played. And what wonderful music it is! Thank you to everyone involved.

Bravo ! How brave of Glyndebourne to invest in the double effort of staging two 'miniatures' in one night .. and how great the reward.
"The Spanish Hour" was played with sufficient 'adult' swagger and 'Whitehall-farce' finesse to engender ridicule and sympathy, in equal parts, for all the characters. How enjoyable to have a really good laugh in an opera house and (unfortunately) how rare. What an interesting and stimulating set had been designed.. and how well used it was.
Ravel’s music is particularly ingenious .. combining elements of Spain, passion, frustration and the passage of time .. and, even today, how ‘modern’. It must have been surprising (even testing) listening, in its day.
“The Child and the Spells” tested even more of our perceptions .. to dimension and scale (furniture of gigantic proportions) was added the metaphysical (with walking trees and singing insects parading across the stage). Perhaps there was too little catalogue of the child’s past misdeeds to prepare us for the extent of the resentments which had built-up (?) but, nevertheless, any sympathy for youth and rebelliousness soon evaporated when the ramifications to others was shown. Quite an interesting twist and one which, turning us against the child early on, balanced the final act of kindness and change of heart which was to come.
I was delighted to learn so much more of Ravel through these two diverse performances .. the one relying on a few, principal singers relating and reacting to one another, with the ‘constraints’ of the set mirroring their own frustrations .. and the other overflowing with characters and chorus-members, even seeming to overflow the set.
[How easy (and how cheaper) it would have been not to have introduced so many onto the stage so late at night .. but then, nothing at Glyndebourne could possibly be said to be ‘cheap’ !]
Performance: Monday. 13 August.

Never having been to a Ravel Opera before, we had no idea what we were in for - and we loved every minute of these two superb productions. Do not be put off by the Daily Telegraph's (7th August)adverse review - these productions are a 'must see'.

A top rank cast (with inspired doubling) for both operas. Having seen each one separately in the past it was very satisfying to experience the full Ravel double bill, even though they were written some years apart. The delights of Ravel's orchestration were clearly displayed and it was fascinating to hear the change in the composer's style from one opera to the next. The production of L'Heure Espagnole was very amusing although the untidiness of the ingenious set eventually began to pall. L'Enfant et Les Sortileges was a delight with Pelly's never ending ingenuity in interpreting the inanimate and animate objects. As regards the latter, I wish he could have directed The Cunning Little Vixen!

Loved it.

A fun evening and two splendid productions which gave so much pleasure to us and our guest. "Great sets and lighting".

We had a most entertaining evening on 4th at the Ravel double bill. Wonderfull productions of both operas were a feast for the eyes as well as the ears. Also the productions are suitable for opera novices and young and old regulars at Glyndebourne. Highly recommended.

We enjoyed the evening enormously. When the original programme and booking forms arrived we found that our choices were constrained by existing commitments. The Ravel Double bill would not have been an instinctive initial choice but, after seeing the performance on Saturday evening,we are delighted that we did request tickets for the production. It was delightful. We much look forward to reading the book on Ravel. The gardens are looking very good (it would be great were plants to be labelled). The renovation of the lake is a great success. We look forward to next year with great pleasure.

The only problem with "L'heure espagnole" was that it has to be compared with the delights of "L'enfant et les sortileges". Glyndebourne not only offers the very best in singers and musicians but has a reputation for imaginative productions and I well recall the impression made by "A love for three oranges" when I first came to the Festival many years ago. As I write this I look at my beautiful (but unused) Chinese teapot and wonder how it feels about being neglected. The 1970s anaglyptya wallpaper has always seemed soulless and now I know why. We really enjoyed our hour of magical delight.

This is a magical evening and the real stars alongside the wonderful ensemble cast, are the sets. That for L'heure is one of the most detailed I have ever seen and full of surprises - almost every piece of junk in the shop has a clock in it somewhere and the room is piled floor to ceiling - there is even a car parked in there! L'enfant moves us into the world of the Borrowers where everything dwarfs the child - absolute theatrical genius - and look out for the sheep that briefly sticks its head out of the roll of torn wallpaper. Thanks Glyndebourne for a another summer to treasure for ever.

We were lucky to have tickets for the Ravel Double Bill, L'heure Espagnole and L'enfant et les Sortileges on Saturday 4 August and it was a wonderful production, we cannot praise Glyndebourne enough to put on such a glorious production with Laurent Pelly's direction and beautiful voices. Well done.

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