Spanish Hours without Breasts

Wiener Zeitung on 30th May 2015

By Stephan Burianek

The Vienna Kammeroper presents Rarities by Maurice Ravel and Francis Poulenc

What does a neglected housewife do when both of her suitors turn out to be wimps? She takes up with the furniture mover. That, in short, is the plot of a slapstick comedy set to music by Maurice Ravel. The one-act opera is entitled „L’heure espagnole“ („The Spanish Hour“), which indicates the window of opportunity for the longed-for affair. It is playing currently in a brilliant production of Theater an der Wien in the Kammeroper. The double feature was made possible by the young conductor Gelsomino Rocco, who masterfully condensed the comprehensive scores of both works for the Vienna Chamber Orchestra. His version of Poulenc’s “Breasts“ was particularly impressive, where, in spite of the reduction to a few instruments, the colour of the sound was largely maintained and formed an engaging flow with the eclectic melodies. Members of the Schoenberg Choir (direction: Erwin Ortner) supported the high niveau.