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“Spanish Hour” and “The Child and the Spells” directed by Tompa Gábor, at the Bucharest Opera Festival, on June 26


The evening, directed by Tompa Gábor and the musical direction of György Selmeczi, brings to the stage two works rarely heard in our country, “Spanish Hour” and “The Child and the Spells” by Maurice Ravel, whose country premiere took place in 2018.

Being the only Hungarian-language musical theater in our country, moreover, the only opera institution in the world of a minority, the Hungarian Opera presents performances of all musical genres – opera, operetta or musical – to satisfy the tastes of a diverse audience. With this spirit and this series of valuable creations are the two lesser-known titles, “Spanish Hour” and “The Child and the Spells” by Maurice Ravel. Gábor Tompa, the director and György Selmeczi, the director of the shows, are both illustrious graduates of the Bucharest art school. Their professional career, the successes registered in the world are an indisputable proof of the quality of the capital’s environment, at the same time guaranteeing the quality of the performances selected in this festival. It is an honor for the creators of the show and for the entire company of the Hungarian Opera in Cluj to present the two lesser known works, but with great artistic value “Spanish Hour” and “The Child and the Spells” by Maurice Ravel for the first time in Bucharest.

Bucharest Opera Festival will take place between June 24 and July 2 on the stage of the Bucharest National Opera. The festival has the potential to become an annual event and will offer the Bucharest public the opportunity to know the performances in the field of all national institutions subordinated to the Ministry of Culture, which are joined as guests, this time, the Romanian Opera Craiova and the National Theater of Opera and Ballet “Maria Biesu” from Chisinau.

The public is expected, at the end of the centenary season, with a deployment of forces that will include 9 opera, operetta and ballet performances scheduled in 9 consecutive evenings, bringing to the fore 9 orchestras, 7 mixed choirs, 1 children’s choir, 2 companies ballet, dozens of soloists and top conductors of the current music scene, a total of almost 1500 musicians, dancers and artistic and technical staff present on stage, in the pit and behind the scenes for an unprecedented artistic royal.

Tickets here and from the Ticket Office of the Bucharest National Opera.

“I tried to embrace the two works, imagining them as the ghost or the dream of the same child. An exaggerated dream about the mother who treats him with maybe too much strictness and too little patience when she doesn’t do her homework. Remorse occurs, an extremely sensitive phenomenon, because punishment leads to long-term inhibitions and can hurt a child’s soul. So we have a fantasy with the broken toys that wake up and revolt, then nature as a character and, of course, the theme of freedom. After all, I want the mother and child to be at the end. The soloist who plays Concepcion in “Spanish Hour” also plays the role of the mother in “The Child and the Spells”. “Spanish Hour” presents a complicated love affair with Feydeau, with a series of intrigues and misunderstandings presented with humor, in comic style (…) And the child seems to dream all this to “take revenge” on his mother. Thus I linked the two masterpieces, presenting them as dreams, visions of the same child. ” – Gábor Tompa, director

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“I must confess that the Hungarian Opera in Cluj has committed itself to a European-level initiative. The Opera’s repertoire incorporates a new quality, a new attitude, characterized by an authentic, flexible and extremely deep interpretation of the material. I think Opera has taken it to a new level. I want the band to continue their activity at this level in the future. From a musicological point of view, an event of major importance awaits us. It is essential that our image of twentieth-century opera literature. to be an authentic and complete one and not to believe at all that after Puccini no opera was written. Let us not forget that it is not Ravel who needs our interest, but our laconic memory in the field of art history needs Ravel to come into our lives and share his wonderful art with us. ”- György Selmeczi, conductor

“Spanish Hour” is based on the play by Franc Nohain, a play that premiered on October 28, 1904, on the stage of the Odeon Theater in Paris. Ravel began work on opera in early 1907, the world premiere taking place four years later, on May 19, 1911, on the stage of the Paris Comic Opera. The action is set in eighteenth-century Spain, with five characters in the spotlight, all in search of happiness. A desideratum that is difficult to reach, let’s face it. And even if the fun is the one that sets the tone, it should be mentioned that “Spanish Hour” is a puppet opera very difficult to stage.

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Personally, I consider “The Child and the Spells” / “L’Enfant et les Sortilèges” a work for all ages. And that’s because in the action of the seven characters we all find ourselves. It is our childhood, it is our dreams, it is our accomplishments if you will, for which we have been punished or not. Ravel’s child is restless, he is pampered, he is also a punished one, but also a loved one, unforgettable moments are “Bébé a été sage?”, “Ding, ding, ding, ding”, “Oh! ”,“ Our Wounds, ”“ Frog Dance, ”“ He’s Good, Child, He’s Wise ”). Colette wrote the libretto in just eight days, offering an extremely tender text, which makes “The Child and the Spells” a much more attractive work. Let us be glad that these two works are staged at the Hungarian Opera in Cluj. An important step towards their knowledge, towards a better knowledge and reception of Maurice Ravel in general. There are two works to see, to know and to applaud. Because in “Spanish Hour” and “The Child and the Spells”, the key to success is in the hands of artists. ” – Demostene Saffron





Concepcion – Covacinschi Yolanda
Torquemada – Bardon Tony
Ramiro – Peti Tamás Ottó
Gonzalve – Pataki Adorján
Don Inigo Gomez – Laczkó Vass Róbert



Mom – Covacinschi Yolanda
The Child – Veress Orsolya
The chair; The tree – Sándor Árpád
The shepherd; An owl; A shepherdess – Pataki Enikő
The clock – Peti Tamás Ottó
La théiere – Szabó Levente
The Chinese tax; The dragonfly – Székely Zsejke
The fire – Kolcsár Katalin
The Princess – Antal Livia
The little old man; La frogette – Rétyi Zsombor
The pussy; The Squirrel – Hary Judit
The Bat – Barabás Zsuzsa
The Nightingale – Vigh Ibolya
The cat; A father – Laczkó Vass Róbert

With the participation of the choir and orchestra of the Hungarian Opera and the Hungarian Children’s Choir from Cluj

Scenography and costumes: Carmencita Brojboiu
Concertmaster: Barabás Sándor, Ferenczi Endre
Choir Master: Kulcsár Szabolcs
Musical preparation of the Children’s Choir – Kálló Krisztián
Corepetitor: Incze G. Katalin, Horváth Zoltán
Choreographer: Jakab Melinda
Technical director: Lőrincz Norbert
Sufleur: Kostyák Júlia
Light design: Maier Sándor
Pyrotechnics: Ledniczky Béla
Assistant director: Venczel Péter

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