L'Enfant et les Sortilèges
Maurice Ravel

In 2002 I designed the sets and costumes for L'Enfant et les Sortilèges, a Fantasie lyrique in two parts by composer Maurice Ravel on a libretto by Sidonie Gabrielle Colette.

This is the story of a rude child who is reprimanded by the objects in his room which he has been destroying. After being scolded by his mother in the beginning of the opera, the child throws a tantrum destroying the room around him. He is then surprised to find that the unhappy objects in his room come to life. The furniture and decorations begin to talk; even his homework takes shape as it becomes an old man and a chorus of numbers.

The bedroom becomes a garden filled with singing animals and plants which have been tortured by the child as well. The child attempts to make friends with the animals and plants, but they shun him because of the injuries he did to them earlier before they could talk. They leave him aside, and in his loneliness, he eventually cries out "Maman". At this, the animals turn on him and attack him, but the animals wind up jostling among each other as the child is tossed aside. At the culmination, a squirrel is hurt, which causes the other animals to stop fighting. The child bandages the squirrel, then collapses exhausted. The animals have a change of heart toward the child, and decide to try to help him home. They carry the child back to his house, and sing in praise of the child. The opera ends with the child singing "Maman", as he greets his mother, in the very last measure of the score.

This production was produced by De Nieuwe Opera Academie.
The conductor was José Miguel Esandi, the direction by Cynthia Buchan, lighting design by Henk Kraayenzank, video design by Nienke Schachtschnabel, and make-up design by Marjan van Geene, Lory Caldarella
It premiered in the Kees van Baarenzaal in The Hague on 23rd March 2002.

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