L’enfant et les Sortilèges


Creation 16th of december 2006 at l’Opéra de Besançon.

Piano : Eric Lesage
Scenography and costumes : Julie Scobeltzine
Lights : Raphaël Walzer

L’enfant: Marie Kalinine
La maman, la tasse chinoise, la libellule : Gemma Coma-Alabert
L’horloge comtoise, le chat: Patrice Berger
La bergère, la chauve-souris : Diana Higbee
Le feu, la princesse, le Rossignol : Yuree Jang
La théière, l’arithmétique, la grenouille : Philippe Talbot
La chatte, l’écureuil : Estelle Kaique 

Ravel aspires to Childhood, as we aspire to Heaven.

This in the same way we find ourselves in an universe owing just as much if not more to the imagination of a grown-up man as to a little boy’s objective souvenirs. In L’enfant et les sortilèges,Ravel shows both sides of this childhood: the wonder world seen through children’s eyes which sublimates reality, and nostalgia of adults who can no longer forget Death.
The 1st World War dispossessed Maurice Ravel: he lost his mother, his health and his inspiration.

L’enfant et les sortilèges arises from this period of disorder, confusion and violence.
This is not a childish fantasy but a work in the heart of its time, when fairy tales get psychoanalyzed, where mutilated toys of spoiled children are easily mistaken for the soldiers of flesh back from the trenches.
One would therefore need precisely not a child but somebody who has fallen back into a second childhood. Such as a very young and recuperating soldier who calls his nurse “Mother!” and sees around him only breakups, fragments and farewells…One imagines in fact a strange Grand Guignol, tainted with a blend of  Dada, Magritte, Otto Dix and Picabia.

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