Michael Rosewell conductor
Olivia Fuchs director
Anna Yates designer
Britten Les Illuminations
Debussy L'enfant prodigue
Ravel L'heure espagnole
The RCM Opera Studio presents a sophisticated evening of one-act masterpieces, celebrating the French language through their elegant libretti.
This trio of Gallic-inspired works depicts themes of forgiveness, deception and art itself, and showcases the versatility of the performers to its fullest extent.
A Prix de Rome-winning dramatic cantata, Claude Debussy’s L’enfant prodigue re-imagines the biblical tale of the prodigal son arriving home to mixed feelings from his parents. Although an early composition by the composer, the work’s effective orchestration and harmonic imagination make it a successful scène lyrique.
Britten’s contemplative song cycle Les Illuminations features settings of Arthur Rimbaud’s poetry, usually with a soprano soloist performing alongside string orchestra. Premiered in London in 1940, by soprano Sophie Wyss, to whom the cycle is dedicated, the work moves away from Britten’s inherent 'Britishness' towards a more cosmopolitan European style, with a distinctly French feel to the music.
By contrast, Ravel’s popular comédie musicale L’heure espagnole takes French as its language, but is set in the Spanish city of Toledo. A humorous end to this triple bill, it follows a farcical plot, featuring the hapless Torquemada, his mischievous wife, and a host of comical characters concealed in clocks…
This production is made possible with the assistance of the Basil Coleman bequest
Sung in French
Please note that this production may contain strobe lighting, and may not be suitable for children under the age of 12.