Maurice Ravel (1875 - 1937)
Torquemada owns a clock shop in the centre of town. His wife, Concepción, looks forward to Thursday afternoons, when Torquemada is out checking and winding the municipal clocks. She spends this precious time with her young lover, Gonsalve.
On this particular Thursday, Concepción’s hours of illicit pleasure is complicated by the presence of a delivery man, Ramiro, who is waiting to have his watch (an heirloom) fixed. She is further frustrated when Gonsalve shows more interest in making poetry than making love. Vexing her still more is the arrival of influential banker, Don Iñigo, who got her husband the municipal clock role in order that he might seduce Concepción.
A comédie musicale in one act
Sung in French with English surtitles
Music: Maurice Ravel
Libretto: Franc-Nohain, based on his 1904 play
First performance: 19 May 1911, Opéra-Comique, Paris
In the end, it is the innocent bystander, Ramiro, who proves to be the solution to Concepción’s problems.
The five pronounce the moral of this episode which, they say, comes from Boccaccio:
Among all lovers, it’s only the effective one who really counts
So there comes a time in the course of love
When even the mule-driver has his turn.
TORQUEMADA, a clockmaker ∙ JEFFREY LLOYD ROBERTS
CONCEPCIÓN, Torquemada’s wife ∙ CATHERINE BACKHOUSE
GONZALVE, a young poet ∙ ELGAN THOMAS
RAMIRO, a delivery man ∙ ROSS RAMGOBIN
DON IÑIGO GOMEZ, a banker ∙ ASHLEY RICHES
DIRECTOR ∙ STEPHEN MEDCALF
SOUND ∙ TOM MARSHALL
PIANO ∙ CHRIS HOPKINS
FRENCH COACH ∙ BEATRICE LUPTON
VIDEO PRODUCTION ∙ DANIEL ZAFER