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NSO: Ravel

NSO: Ravel

NSO Season

NSO: Ravel

National Symphony Orchestra
Speranza Scappucci conductor
Julie Boulianne mezzo-soprano
Lionel Lhote baritone 

Ma mère l’Oye (Mother Goose) Suite 
La Valse 
Alborada del gracioso 
Pavane pour une infante défunte
Don Quichotte à Dulcinée

On the very day of the 150th anniversary of his birth, we celebrate the genius of Maurice Ravel with a veritable ‘greatest hits’ selection of evergreen works.

There’s fairy-tale magic and mayhem in Ma mère l’Oye (Mother Goose); comic fantasy in Don Quichotte à Dulcinée – with ‘the beautiful and wide baritone’ (Ôlyrix) of Lionel Lhote; exotic romance in Shéhérazade – with ‘refined and elegant’ (The Independent) soprano Julie Boulianne; and, of course, the mesmerising rhythms of Boléro

We welcome another exciting conductor, the sensational Speranza Scappucci, Principal Guest Conductor at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the first woman to conduct at Teatro alla Scala Milan.

Did you know?

Born in France within walking distance of the border with Spain, Ravel’s music revelled in the influence of his Spanish-speaking Basque mother.

He disliked being described as an ‘impressionist’, favouring his association with the cohort of modernist spirits known as Les Apaches (‘The Hooligans’) that included Debussy.

A severe critic of his own music, he dismissed his signature Boléro as ‘15 minutes of orchestration without music’.

His later years were dogged by the onset of Pick’s disease dementia that prevented him from composing.

Listen out for…

Ravel’s use of colour and orchestral detailing throughout:

In Ma mère l’Oye: the flute and harp depicting Sleeping Beauty; Tom Thumb’s cor anglais, the transformation of the bassoon Beast into violin and harp.

The exotic accent of the oboe in Shéhérazade and the almost liquid relationship between the voice and flute.

The mimicry of Spanish instruments in Boléro – plucked strings for guitars and snare drums as castanets – and the two sinuous melodies that compete with insistent, machine-like percussion.

Presented by NCH

Book Now
Friday 7 Mar 2025
Main Stage
€15, €26.50, €33, €39, €45

Discount Multi-Buy Packages Available Here

Pre-Concert Talk: 6.15pm – 7pm

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