What did you think of L'Heure Espagnole and L'Enfant et les Sortileges?

Hannah Penn as The Child in L'enfant et les sortilegesNow that you've seen the Ravel Double Bill of L'Heure Espagnole and L'Enfant et les Sortileges, write a review or comment on someone else's.

(We've created this space for you, our patrons, to share your reactions to our productions. We view it as your place.  And although you won't see us comment on your reviews, we definitely read your posts with great interest and appreciation.)






First time for both operas.

First time for both operas. Both were great, but L'Enfant the better by far. Really engaging throughout.
It would have been nice if a few of the singers could have graced us with an appearance after Saturday's final performance

Gosh ... l'Enfant is among my

Gosh ... l'Enfant is among my favorite operas, due to the brilliant music, the sweet story, and the fact that is by Ravel. I suspect it is rarely done because it is so hard to stage. I once saw a made-for-TV video of it that was quite lame, and have often dreamed of what a perfect film or animated film of it might look like. I did once see an unstaged production (soloists in front of an orchestra) in Paris that had 3000 French people (plus us) in tears ... so one knows what the music can do and what a powerful production could do that much more intensely. I was sooooo excited to see it staged for the first time - and here in my home town. Musically it measured up very very well; Portland Opera assembled a great ensemble of young people with strong voices and acting ability. I think the orchestra must have been smaller than the one for which the opera was scored; I missed some of the richness of Ravel's score. The conductor's tempi sometimes dragged, as at the beginning. Still everybody played beautifully. My only real sadness was that the combination of staging and costuming sometimes made me squirm. How do you cast and direct an opera that includes so much physicality, due in part to there being lots of orchestral music while there are many characters on stage, not singing, but also just due to the crazy-ass costume characters? Clearly much must be pantomimed and danced - no way around it. Here, some parts worked; some did not; everybody tried hard. The cats were pretty cool; the Arithmetique section was tight; the tossed fireballs were brilliant; the trees were GREAT. But the frogs were awkward; much of the child's business during the first third was hard to look at; the scene with the princess, key and central, was static (and her costume not pretty). I was sorry that the shepherds and shepherdesses were directed to act all mournful and downcast, making them look like ... an opera chorus, instead of something sprightly from a Greek frieze. The black unitards were a reasonable choice ... but there were too many bodies on stage that either filled them out all wrong, or did not fill them enough! My last bitch: the role of the child probably cannot be filled by a child ... but must not be filled by somebody who so looks like a grown woman. Okay, I'll shut up. You did one of my favorite operas! Thank you !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Musically it gets an A+; visually a B-. But so? Keep it up, please. And l'Heure? I had only heard this opera once, and didn't know it well at all. But it's Ravel! It was really lovely, and I thought the production was sort of perfect. Great casting, and EXCEPTIONAL acting, perfect for the opera's farcical nature. I laughed out loud often at the asides and the expressive faces. What a surprise the ending was - a five-voice moral to the tale! Fabulous. Thanks for the chance to comment. - SL

Both operas had excellent

Both operas had excellent characterization! The farciful theatrics in the first opera were some of the funniest I've ever seen. The clocks on the set were fabulous and their precise placement evoked Ravel's precise personality. But I felt L'Heure Espagnole was otherwise mediocre.

I would agree with Director Mattaliano's opinion that L'Enfant et Les Sortileges is one of the best of operas. It is unique and modern with "cool" operatic passages. The odd assortment of main characters, animate and inanimate, is brave and refreshingly different. The voices are excellent, powerful. The skillfully executed choreography is extensive and amazing, unexpected in an opera. The orchestral input is equally wonderful and interesting. The best Ravel ever! I hope I can find a production of it out there somewhere.

I love the Newmark!

I wish the translation screen was much lower for the middle orchestra secton, but how? I lost a lot having to look so far from the stage. Is there some way it could be put below the stage, between it and the orchestra?

Two operas which we had never

Two operas which we had never seen (heard) before. Both delightful. Excellent acting,singing and staging. Enjoyed L'enfant more because of the music.

we were seated in the thrid

we were seated in the thrid balcony, the seats are tight and the music overpowered the singers. It was not entertaining and certainly not worth $75 a ticket.