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date: 15 September 2019

Enfant et les sortilèges, L’ (‘The Child and the Spells’)locked

  • Roger Nichols

Extract

(‘The Child and the Spells’)

Fantaisie lyrique in one act by Maurice Ravel to a libretto by Colette; Monte Carlo, 21 March 1925.

During World War I Jacques Rouché, the newly appointed director of the Paris Opéra, asked Colette to write the scenario for a fairy ballet, and she accepted with enthusiasm his suggestion of Ravel as collaborator. A copy of her libretto finally reached Ravel in 1918, and the following year he wrote to her, touching on one or two details of what he now envisaged as an opera, but progress was held up by his poor health and by work on the Sonata for violin and cello. At some point the initiative passed from the Paris Opéra to that of Monte Carlo, where Raoul Gunsbourg had mounted a highly successful production of L’heure espagnole and was keen to have a sequel. Ravel worked unremittingly on L’enfant throughout 1924 and the early months of ...

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