Opera North's L'enfant et les sortilèges & Osud

Part of The Little Greats

An emotional rollercoaster pairing Ravel’s magical childhood fantasy with Janáček’s rarely-performed gem.
  • Venue: The Lyric Theatre
An emotional rollercoaster pairing Ravel’s magical childhood fantasy with Janáček’s rarely-performed gem.

L'enfant et les sortilèges | Ravel

A naughty child assaults everything in his room after he is told off by his mother for not doing his homework. Gradually, the objects around him – furniture, clocks, crockery – come to life. Out in the garden, events take an even more disturbing turn when all the trees and animals rebuke him for the injuries he has done them in the past. Can the child redeem himself? 

With colourful characters including a pair of singing cats, a teapot and china cup duo, a talking armchair, a tree-frog and a squirrel, Colette’s magical words are set by Ravel to a spellbinding musical score. This darkly brilliant opera celebrates the mysteries of childhood and will amuse and enchant adults and children alike.

Additional information

Running time: approximately 45 minutes
Language: Sung in French with English titles

'...faithful to the score and the book but full of imaginative touches.' ★★★★★ — The Arts Desk 
'The orchestra under Martin André provided washes of beautifully vivid colour...Wallis Giunta is a delight as the knobbly-kneed child.' ★★★★ — The Telegraph

'...Arden's impeccable judgment of the work’s tone...The foxtrot for the Teapot (John Graham-Hall) and Chinese Cup (Ann Taylor) had the first-night audience in fits......' ★★★★ — The Guardian

Osud (Destiny) | Janáček

This semi-autobiographical tale is told in three cinematic acts that unfold over 15 years. Míla and the composer Živný are in love but Míla’s mother forces her to take a rich suitor. Four years later they are reunited and living together but as Živný wrestles with the opera he is writing and the mundanity of everyday married life kicks in, a tragedy occurs that changes everything. 

The real-life inspiration for this opera makes it an emotionally intense and exhilarating experience. It features some of Janáček’s most glorious music which swings from the heights of romantic ecstasy to the depths of despair and back again. A real operatic gem, this is your chance to see a rarity brought to life.

Additional information

Running time approximately 1 hour 20 minutes
Language: Sung in English with English titles

‘...too good to miss...compellingly driven...when delivered as well as this, it demands to be heard.’ ★★★★ — The Times
‘Martin André’s conducting captures all the music’s nervous energy. A fascinating oddity...’ ★★★★ —The Telegraph

Osud: Trailer

L'enfant et les sortilèges: Trailer

Cast and Creative Team

L’enfant et les sortilèges | Ravel


The Child - Wallis Giunta

His mother / Chinese cup / Squirrel - Ann Taylor

Fire / Nightingale / Princess - Fflur Wyn

Grandather Clock / Tom Cat - Quirijn de Lang

Armchair / TreeJohn Savournin

Tea Pot / Tree Frog / Arithmetic - John Graham-Hall

Louis XV Chair / Female Cat / Owl - Katie Bray


Creative Team

Conductor TBA

Director - Annabel Arden

Set Designer Charles Edwards

Costume Designer - Hannah Clark

Lighting Designer - Charles Edwards
Choreographer -Theo Clinkard

Osud | Janáček


Míla Valková - Giselle Allen

Živný - John Graham-Hall

Míla’s Mother - Rosalind Plowright

Dr. Suda - Peter Auty

Lhotský - Richard Burkhard

Konečký - Dean Robinson

Miss Stuhlá - Ann Taylor


Creative Team

Conductor - TBA

Director - Annabel Arden

Set Designer - Charles Edwards

Costume Designer - Hannah Clark

Lighting Designer - Charles Edwards