Ma Mère l'Oye /​ L'Enfant et les Sortilèges Comes to the Paris Opera

Performances run from 21 November to 14 December 2023.

By: Nov. 08, 2023
Ma Mère l'Oye /​ L'Enfant et les Sortilèges Comes to the Paris Opera

Ma Mère l'Oye /​ L'Enfant et les Sortilèges comes to the Paris Opera this month. Performances run from 21 November to 14 December 2023.

A teapot dancing the foxtrot with a Chinese cup, an armchair courting a Louis XV wing chair, objects and animals joining forces against an unruly child: such is the marvellous world that Maurice Ravel brings to life in his “fantaisie lyrique” created in 1925. A finely orchestrated musical gem, in which the composer’s taste for humour, childhood poetry and animals – an affection shared with the writer Colette, who wrote the libretto – is clearly apparent. While the artists of the Academy embody the characters of L’Enfant et les Sortilèges in Richard Jones’ oneiric staging, the students of the Ballet School perform the ballet Ma Mère l’Oye (1912) in Martin Chaix’ inventive choreography. An opera, a ballet: two works by Ravel placed under the sign of childhood and fairy tales, sublimated by the red and golden setting of the Palais Garnier...

The Child, grounded by his mother, takes his anger out on everything around him: he breaks the teapot and the cup, hunts the squirrel, pulls the cat tail, puts out the fire in the fireplace, slashes the tapestry, damages the clock and throws the books away. But then the furniture comes to life and mocks him: the chair and armchair dance a minuet together, the fire sets the room ablaze, the princess gets out of her book then gives way for an old arithmetic teacher and a chorus of numbers and the cat start a duet with the female cat in the garden. The Child goes chasing after them. The room disappears. The Child is alone in the garden, under the moonlight. The trees let out a cry of pain caused by the wounds the Child inflicted on them. A dragonfly searches for its friend he pierced, the bats mourn their mother he killed, the squirrel warns the frog against a danger of imprisonment. They all unite against the Child who cries out: “Mummy!”. A squirrel gets injured in the fight. The Child heals its wound then falls, unconscious. The animals call out: “Mummy!” and bring the Child, now quiet, in his room.