A look back at the 2019 Festival

Télérama

An explosive Tosca, an apocalyptic Requiem, a dazzling Jakob Lenz, cheers, and boos… Under the direction of Pierre Audi, this 71st edition of the Festival d’Art Lyrique d’Aix-en-Provence puts the focus on experimentation and is devilishly disturbing. […] “Surprising” is the word to describe this edition, as we hope it will be again next year.

REQUIEMWOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART

Conductor
Raphaël Pichon

Stage Director, Set Designer, Costume Designer, Lighting Designer
Romeo Castellucci

© Pascal Victor
Financial Times

Mozart’s Requiem becomes a revelation at Aix-en-Provence.

© Pascal Victor
Les Inrockuptibles

In harmony with the conductor Raphaël Pichon, Romeo Castellucci reinvents Mozart’s Requiem as an astounding ode to life.

© Pascal Victor
Le Monde

Conducted by Raphaël Pichon, Mozart’s masterpiece made for a perfect opening night at the Festival d’Aix.

© Pascal Victor
Le Figaro

After some performances, you just feel happy. So it was with the opening night of the 2019 Festival d’Aix.

TOSCAPUCCINI

Conductor
Daniele Rustioni

Stage Director
Christophe Honoré

© Jean-Louis Fernandez
Télérama

At the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, two great Toscas for the price of one.

© Jean-Louis Fernandez
Libération

Christophe Honoré has taken Puccini’s opera and transformed it into an ode to all divas and into a bitter-sweet Hollywood comedy. This evening, we did not see Tosca, but rather a much more interesting production: a director’s loving gesture to all divas.

© Jean-Louis Fernandez
Le Monde

Puccini’s opera was a triumph in Aix-en-Provence under the baton of Daniele Rustioni, principal conductor of the Opéra National de Lyon.

© Jean-Louis Fernandez
Le Figaro

The filmmaker Christophe Honoré takes a new look—with mastery and intelligence—at Puccini’s work.

© Jean-Louis Fernandez
Les Échos

The elaborate scenic design and the meticulously regulated stage guarantee a memorable production.

JAKOB LENZWOLFGANG RIHM

Conductor
Ingo Metzmacher

Stage Director
Andrea Breth

© Patrick Berger
Le Monde

Jakob Lenz—a chamber opera by Wolfgang Rihm (born in 1952)—became one of the keystones of the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence on July 5.

© Patrick Berger
Les Échos

A powerful show

© Patrick Berger
Luxembourger Wort

The event and revelation of this festival is hands down Wolfgang Rihm’s Jakob Lenz.

© Patrick Berger
Le Figaro

Andrea Breth’s staging of Wolfgang Rihm’s Jakob Lenz is virtually sublime.

THE SLEEPING THOUSANDADAM MAOR

Conductor
Elena Schwarz

Stage Director
Yonatan Levy

© Patrick Berger
Le Figaro

Satirical, political and poetic, all at the same time.

© Patrick Berger
Le Monde

The Sleeping Thousand, the first opera by Israeli composer Adam Maor, left a lasting impression.
A unique, seductive and provocative universe that is a mixture of political fable, philosophical tale and fictional parable.

© Patrick Berger
RFI

The opera leaves you pondering.
With much poetry and philosophy, it is the dream of a better world.

© Patrick Berger
Luxembourg Wort

A joy of contemporary opera.

© Patrick Berger
La Croix

The work should be enjoyed as a philosophical tale, with a tight but luxuriant style, and with a sensual vitality and a moral full of wisdom.

RISE AND FALL OF THE CITY OF MAHAGONNYKURT WEILL

Conductor
Esa-Pekka Salonen

Stage Director
Ivo van Hove

© Pascal Victor
New York Times

Ivo van Hove's new staging of Mahagonny is, quite simply, enjoyable.
Esa-Pekka Salonen’s conducting is reason alone to see this Mahagonny.

© Pascal Victor
El País

From the very first scene, the Belgian director proves that he understands this work.
The Festival d’Aix offers a great production of Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny.

© Pascal Victor
Opera Today

The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny was of the scenic magnitude to equal the gigantic musical efforts emanating from the pit.

© Pascal Victor
TouteLaCulture.com

Ivo van Hove’s version of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s opera is timeless and compelling.

BLANK OUTMICHEL VAN DER AA (1970)

Composition, Stage Design & Film
Michel van der Aa

Conductor (film)
Klaas Stok

© Priska Ketterer
New York Times

Emerging technology is fully integrated with the concept of the piece —a rarity in classical music, where VR is often applied to existing repertoire.

Bachtrack.com

Few composers have managed to articulate today’s crisis of identity with such potent force and individuality as Van der Aa.

© Priska Ketterer
Le Monde

Combining music, theater, 3D cinema and technology, the composer Michel van der Aa has invented a new artistic language.

La Marseillaise

Blank out is indeed an opera, and a complete, and highly successful, work of art.