Monday, 20 August 2012

Glyndebourne Ravel Double Bill streaming broadcast

Ravel Double Bill streamed direct from Glyndebourne ! L'heure espagnole and L'enfant et les sortilèges. The live broadcast was extremely well filmed, so it's definitely recommended.

On demand viewing from Tuesday 21st August. Make time to watrch L'enfant et les sortilèges. above all. It's an extremely difficult opera to stage because it's full of ideas (How do you stage "Mathematics" for example?). That's why it's usually heard in the concert hall. This production is fantastic in every sense, absolutely true to music and meaning. If you can only spare an hour watch this L'enfant. It sets the benchmark. It's that good.

As always, repeat viewings bring out more detail.  L'heure espagnole, directed by Laurent Pelly but to designs by Caroline Ginet and Florence Evrard looks a bit dated as it was first created nearly 10 years ago. However seen together with L'enfant et les sortilèges it works rather well. The clutter in this set reflects the clutter chez Concepción and Torquemada. Piles of unsorted debris, threatening to suffocate the inhabitants. You don't need to be a shrink to think OCD, a behavioural response to anxiety. Torquemada uses inanimate objects to avoid having to deal with the messy emotions of living people. His obsession is both escape and control. Concepción fancies Ramiro because he carries heavy clocks, instead of getting himself stuck in one. Sharp acting and singing raised this performance above the ordinary. 

Thus the connection between L'heure espagnole and  L'enfant et les sortilèges , both operas exploring issues of fantasy and regulation. The Child in  L'enfant et les sortilèges smashes the Giant Clock but can't stop Time itself. He destroys his room in a tantrum, and the room fights back. Only when he learns that  the world is ordered for a reason (ie through Mathematics), does he begin to understand the value of balance. Kindness, not selfishness. When the Child learns empathy as an alternative to obsessive control. he can come back from his nightmare.

Laurent Pelly has said that there are enough ideas in this 45 minute piece to full a 3 or 4 hour opera. Watch this broadcast. I think he's right. Kazushi Ono's conducting is brilliant - incisive, idiomatic, sharp, every bit as intelligent as the staging.

Incidentally, it's good that Glyndebourne doesn't fill the interval with facetious chatter like the Met does.  What is wrong with audiences that need mindless babble? Attention deficit disorder? At Glyndebourne, audiences are treated like adults, who can fill time on their own. Simply muse on the shots of the garden, the patterns of clouds and light. And go get a drink and relax, as they do at Glyndebourne.

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