Tonight I’m taking part in a special event as part of the Philharmonia’s City of Light: Paris 1900-1950 series at the Royal Festival Hall. I will be singing as, variously, a shepherd, a tree, a frog and a mathematically-challenged child in a semi-staged performance of Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortileges. We have spent an intense rehearsal period working with choreographer Quinny Sacks (as well as Aidan Oliver, the chorus master of Philharmonia Voices) to offer appropriate movement in this short one-act music drama. The technology is available to make even a simple staging seem rather sophisticated – although we also have a sequence involving simple paper hats held on with elastic.
The music is glorious and, with Chloé Briot perfectly cast as the petulant but ultimately repentant child, a special evening is promised. The Philharmonia are conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen.