A Spanish Hour - Ravel's L'heure espagnole

Autumn 2018 sees MWO back on the road with the company’s second SmallStages tour, Ravel’s exhilarating one-act bedroom farce, A Spanish Hour (L’heure espagnole). We’re returning to some favourite spots from our tour of Walton’s The Bear in 2017, as well as a host of new places we’re longing to explore. 

First performed in Paris in 1911, L’heure espagnole is set in a clock shop in Toledo, central Spain. It follows the fortunes of Torquemada, the hardworking clockmaker, as, during the course of one hot afternoon, his young wife Concepción negotiates her way through her collection of ridiculous lovers. Ravel’s music is bursting with hummable melodies, lively habanera dances and other Spanish folk song elements to get audiences buzzing. 

This is opera for everyone – featuring an outstanding cast of five young singers as well as four brilliant musicians, performing a new English translation by our Artistic Director Richard Studer and a new arrangement of Ravel’s exotic score created by our Music Director Jonathan Lyness.

And in the second half of the evening, our musicians and singers will present an eclectic and entertaining taste of Spain – with some old favourites and new delights to enjoy.


Torquemada: Peter Van Hulle
Concepción: Catherine Backhouse
Gonzalve: Anthony Flaum
Ramiro: Nicholas Morton
Don Inigo Gomez: Matthew Buswell

ViolinJudith Choi Castro
HarpElfair Grug Dyer
Bassoon – Alexandra Callanan
Piano – Jonathan Lyness

Duration: One and a half hours (includes one act opera, interval and concert)

Music Director: Jonathan Lyness
Director/Designer: Richard Studer


Supported by ACW Lottery Fund, Garfield Weston Trust, Hanfod Cymru, Gwendoline & Margaret Davies Charity and Nidec Control Techniques.