The play on which Ravel based his opéra espagnole is a clever conceit set in the house of a clockmaker. It compares the wound-up mechanism of a clock with the erotic compulsions driving flesh-and-blood humans. Concepción devises a complex sequence of moves and counter-moves to conceal the presence of her various admirers. While directing these activities she becomes increasingly impressed by the physical attributes of her unwitting accomplice, Ramiro.
Stéphanie d’Oustrac sings Concepción, with Canadian baritone Elliot Madore in his Glyndebourne debut as Ramiro.