Performance schedule is as follows:
Sat 17 Oct 2009, 7:30 PM
Tue 20 Oct 2009, 7:30 PM
Thu 22 Oct 2009, 7:30 PM
Sat 24 Oct 2009, 12:30 PM
Wed 28 Oct 2009, 7:30 PM
Composed just a few years apart, Ravel’s comedie musicale (1911) and Puccini’s opera (1918) form an ideal comic double-bill, especially in Richard Jones’s acutely witty stagings, to eye-popping designs by John Macfarlane and Nicky Gillibrand, first seen in 2007 and an instant hit with both critics and audiences. The Spanish Hour shows the clockmaker’s wife, Concepcion, receiving her various lovers at the hour when her husband Torquemada is out winding up the town’s clocks.
In Gianni Schicchi, a wily peasant helps a group of greedy Florentines circumvent the will of their lately deceased relative – though helping himself to the goods at the same time. Antonio Pappano returns to conduct four performances of works for which he showed special relish when these shows were new.
Ruxandra Donose is surrounded by the original team of lovers in Ravel’s sublime sex-comedy, while Thomas Allen takes on the role of Gianni Schicchi for only the second time, with two new lovebirds under his wing in the shape of Swedish soprano Maria Bengtsson, making her Royal Opera debut as Schicchi’s daughter Lauretta, and Stephen Costello as her boyfriend Rinuccio. -- www.roh.org.uk