reviewed by Paula Citron
L’Heure Espagnole and L’Enfant et Les Sortilèges
University of Toronto Opera Division
Conducted by Sandra Horst
Composed by Maurice Ravel
Directed by Michael Patrick Albano
Starring U of T Opera Division
At the MacMillan Theatre until Mar. 8
The University of Toronto’s Opera Division is mounting a Ravel Double Bill comprising of L’Heure Espagnole (1911) and L’Enfant et Les Sortilèges (1914). The operas certainly work well together.
As always, designer Fred Perruzza has cannibalized former sets to come up with good production values, and as always, Lisa Magill’s costumes are attractive. Conductor Sandra Horst and the U of T Orchestra are a bit slow in tempi, but on the other hand, they lovingly detail Ravel’s impressionistic orchestration, in fact, almost too much so. Director Michael Patrick Albano knows all the tricks of stage business.
L’Enfant has so many people that it is hard to get a sense of the individual singing. Only mezzo-soprano Mia Harris as the child appears throughout, and she certainly has a rich, fruity voice in development. As for L’Heure Espagnole, the stand-out singer is baritone Vasil Garvanliev as Ramiro, the muleteer.
The Ravel Double Bill continues at the MacMillan Theatre until Mar. 8.