The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music’s award-winning undergraduate opera series (also known as “CCM Opera d’arte”) presents Maurice Ravel’s one-act opera L’Enfant et les Sortilèges from Feb. 21-23 in the Cohen Family Studio Theater. Admission is free, but reservations are required.
The title of Ravel’s second opera, L’Enfant et les Sortilèges: Fantaisie lyrique en deux parties translates to The Child and the Spells: A Lyric Fantasy in Two Parts. The opera tells the story of a young boy who, after being scolded by his mother, throws a destructive tantrum in his room. He is then surprised to watch the furniture and decorations become plants and animals that begin to talk. The child is left to fend for himself in a garden of creatures that remember the harm he inflicted on them before they could speak. It is a fantastical voyage for the whole family that not only showcases vast imagination, but also reminds us of the consequences our actions can have.
Directed by CCM Professor of Voice Kenneth Shaw and CCM Assistant Professor of Voice Amy Johnson with music direction by Assistant Professor of Ensembles and Conducting Brett Scott, L’Enfant et les Sortileges is being produced in collaboration with UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP). This collaboration between CCM and DAAP grew largely from student interest, according to Shaw
“We met, developed ideas and then called on students to submit designs for sets and costumes. We selected aspects from three submissions and distilled the project into a Co-Op for DAAP position, filled by student Katie Iles,” Shaw explains. “The production presents the title role of the Child as a young, budding artist, so his paintings come to life, along with other inanimate objects. It’s just another dramatic device that seems to work well for this piece.
“Because each role, except for The Child, is brief,” Shaw continues, “our students can concentrate on their work and focus their energies more efficiently on singing well, acting with specificity and going beyond the normal human range of emotions into the world of the surreal.”
This production promises to bring light and warmth to an otherwise very chilly winter. Join Opera d’arte for a delightful escape!