Opera Double Bill

March 18th, 2023

The double bill of Respighi’s La Bella Dormente nel Bosco (Sleeping Beauty in the Woods) and Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges (The Spellbound Child) opened in the week of 13th March for four performances at the Britten Theatre in the Royal College of Music. To our knowledge, this is the first UK performance of the Respighi, despite having been written and composed a hundred years ago.

Director Liam Steel, lighting designer Andy Purves and I have meshed the two into an evening of musical and visual magical realism.

Steel and designer Michael Pavelka lean into it with a staging that puts puppets front and centre

– illusions all the more enchanting for being performed in plain sight.  The Arts Desk

The effect is mesmerising, and the surprises pile up. Opera Today

‘Visually and choreographically the two productions are equally deft.’  Classical Source

‘Michael Pavelka’s set and costumes are a beautiful reflection of the fairy tale world – Steel and Pavelka cover every detail with glee.’  Bachtrack