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Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts will be rededicated as Marian Anderson Hall, home of The Philadelphia Orchestra

Stéphane Denève Stéphane Denève Stéphane Denève

Sorcerers, Spells, and Magic

Feb 13, 2020, 7:30 PM
Feb 14, 2020, 2:00 PM
Feb 15, 2020, 8:00 PM


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Performance Details

Stéphane Denève Conductor
Isabel Leonard Mezzo-soprano (The Child)
Anna Christy Soprano (The Fire, The Nightingale, The Princess)
Meigui Zhang Soprano (The Bergère, The Bat, The Screech-owl, A Country Lass)
Valentina Pluzhnikova Mezzo-soprano (The White Cat, The Squirrel, A Herdsman)
Sara Couden Contralto (Mama, The Chinese Cup, The Dragonfly)
Mathias Vidal Tenor (The Teapot, The Little Old Man, The Tree Frog)
John Moore Baritone (The Comtoise Clock, The Black Cat)
Yunpeng Wang Baritone (The Armchair, A Tree)
Westminster Symphonic Choir
Joe Miller Director
Philadelphia Boys Choir
Jeffrey R. Smith Artistic Director
Stephanie Havey Stage Director

Mozart Overture to The Magic Flute
Dukas The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Williams Selections from Harry Potter
Ravel L'Enfant et les sortilèges

Program Notes

The Philadelphia Orchestra celebrates Valentine's weekend with spellbinding music: Mozart's bewitching The Magic Flute Overture, Dukas' The Sorcerer's Apprentice that was immortalized by Mickey Mouse battling demonic brooms in Fantasia, and John Williams' music for the most famous wizard of all time -- Harry Potter. The highlight of the evening is a rare performance of Ravel's brilliant opera, L'Enfant et les Sortileges (The Child and the Spells).

About Ravel's masterpiece L'Enfant et les sortileges
What happens when a moody pre-teen is sent to his room—and there’s no Wi-Fi?

In Ravel’s wondrous 50-minute score, a child’s tantrum arouses the magical spirits of his boyhood room. Squirrels and frogs, tea cups and clocks (to name just a few), come to life in this Toy Story-style tale. Even the boy’s homework leaps from the page in the form of an old man. One of Ravel’s most sophisticated works, the music is infused with influences from Bach to Wagner. The author Colette—she moved in circles with Josephine Baker—wrote the text, and her enchanting words inspired Ravel’s sparkling, fairly-tale, youth-inspired score.

Ravel was a master of many musical styles and the greatest of musical story-tellers. This two-act opera, consisting of dozens of characterful songs, is a fast-paced, satirical work featuring a cast of eight singers, adult choir, and children’s choir.

Principal Guest Conductor Stéphane Denève will draw out the vivid colors and musical witticisms of Ravel’s masterpiece. He leads a virtuosic cast of vocalists, many of whom portray multiple magical characters. Mezzo-soprano superstar Isabel Leonard stars as the Child.

“If a child could tell about this childhood while he is passing through it, his true childhood, his account would perhaps be nothing more than one of intimate dramas and disappointments.” —Colette (Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, 1873–1954)

Verizon Hall


The February 13–15 concerts are sponsored by Mari and Peter Shaw to celebrate Maestro Stéphane Denève’s six-year tenure as principal guest conductor.

The February 14 concert is sponsored by Dr. Cecilia Segawa Seigle.

The February 15 concert is sponsored by Bruce and Robyn Leto.

The February 15 concert is sponsored by

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