Stage Door News

Toronto: VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert presents a Maurice Ravel double bill October 20

Monday, October 7, 2019

For 2019-2020, VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert explores the many aspects of love as seen in masterworks by Maurice Ravel, Leoš Janáček, Charles Wilson, and Francesco Cilea. The season opens on Sunday, October 20, 2019, with a double bill by Maurice Ravel, L’enfant et les sortilèges and L’heure espagnole.  Alluring and magical, an enchanted world leads a young child to a vision of our shared humanity, while defective grandfather clocks teach their own lessons reflecting the comedic frustrations of life.  Led from the piano by music director Suzy Smith, Stuart Hamilton Emerging Artist award winner Holly Chaplin (Princess and Fire), Anika-France Forget (Concepción), Danlie Rae Acebuque (Don Inigo and the Cat), Edward Larocque (Torquemada) and Joshua Clemenger (Gonzalve) will be among those featured in both operas. 

These two one-act operas perfectly fit into VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert’s mandate to showcase emerging Canadian artists.  “From the very beginning in 1974”, said General Director Guillermo Silva-Marin, “we have sought to give opportunities to young artists in leading roles.”  Both the Ravel operas have multiple challenging roles that allow burgeoning talent to shine. Chorus Director Robert Cooper and the Creative Team have taken the opportunity to turn this production into a celebration of emerging artists, full inclusion of the VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert Chorus and its admirable diversity.

Ravel was among a group of ‘petit-maître’ around the turn of the last century and he was the least prolific.  However, almost every one of his compositions is top-of-the-line and frequently performed…from Bolero to Shéhérazade to his only operas.  L’heure espagnolewas based on a naughty work by Franc-Nohain, all having to do with the libido. Colette provided the libretto for L’enfant et les sortileges and it is a deeply felt call for understanding, forgiveness and harmony in the universe.  The works will be performed in English. 

The season continues with Katya Kabanova on Sun, Dec 1, 2019, Charles Wilson’s Kamouraska on Sun, Feb 16, 2020, and Cilea’s verismo masterwork Adriana Lecouvreur on Sun, April 5, 2020.

Opera in Concert is supported by the Jackman Foundation, The Dianne & Irving Kipnes Foundation, Nancy's Very Own Foundation, Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council. Single tickets are available from the St. Lawrence Centre’s Jane Mallett Theatre Box Office, 27 Front St. East, by phone – 416-366-7723 or 1-800-708-6754 – or online at  The theatre is wheelchair accessible and close to public transit and municipal parking.  All performances are on Sunday afternoons at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts at 2:30 pm.

Illustration: Cover of DG album of L’Enfant et les sortilèges. © 1988 Sabine Lochmann.