Prélude Opera As a family
- Opéra de Lyon
- 1 hour
- In French
Ravel’s first opera, L’Heure espagnole, is a comedy in music, a glittering piece of watchmaking that is both whimsical and audacious - in short, a triumph at the first attempt! A work filled with brilliant experimental music and sounds, to which James Bonas's staging and the magical drawings of Grégoire Pont bring an atmosphere similar to the animated cartoons of the 1930s.
In Toledo, the muleteer Ramiro brings his watch to be repaired by the watchmaker Torquemada. Torquemada’s wife reminds her husband that it is time to go and wind up the town's clocks, the ruse she uses to enable her to meet her lover Gonzalve at the shop. But Ramiro’s presence leads to a whole series of comic situations, from bawdy misunderstandings to lovers being locked inside clocks.
An innovative farce
Although L'Heure espagnole is Ravel's first opera, he himself preferred to call it a musical, and the work is indeed appreciated as a farce, though Ravel's work on the rhythms, the tick-tock of the orchestra and the voices mean it is highly innovative musically.
Revival of the 2018 Opera de Lyon production
Concepcion, femme de Torquemada
Etienne Duhil de Bénazé
Gonzalve, bachelier poète
Don Inigo Gomez, riche financier
Orchestre et solistes du Studio de l'Opéra de Lyon