We are delighted we could share with you the latest edition of the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, which ended on July 22, 2019 with the last performance of the new production of Puccini’s Tosca.
In all, this edition welcomed 63,000 audience members, with 6 operas performed at Aix for the first time, and a nearly 92% overall attendance rate, hitting a record 99% for Tosca and 98% for Requiem. The new program of 13 concerts featured some of the greatest orchestras and conductors from around the world, and enjoyed an attendance rate of nearly 80%. The Festival also offered 40 performances during the Aix en Juin préludes, 15 public events by the Académie, and 3 conferences with professionals.
With INCISES, a new series of events featuring contemporary music and living composers—dedicated this year to Wolfgang Rihm et Michel van der Aa, two of today’s most eminent composers—, the Festival aims to raise awareness of this lesser-known repertoire by highlighting creation and experimentation. Despite their occasionally lower attendance rates (65.5% for Jakob Lenz, but 85% for The Sleeping Thousand and 97.5% for Blank Out), these productions still enthused the press and audiences alike, thus strengthening the Festival’s commitment to introducing audiences to these repertoires.
Throughout the month of July, the Midis du Festival, a series of hour-long master classes, discussions and conferences, were a new, and free, daily event for Aix festivalgoers at the Hôtel Maynier d'Oppède.
Our audience constitutes the fourth wall, which both triggers the dream and gives it its meaning. Thank you for joining us on another journey of discovery and contemplation.Pierre Audi
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.
REQUIEM — MOZART
Mozart’s Requiem becomes a revelation at Aix-en-Provence.
Conducted by Raphaël Pichon, Mozart’s masterpiece made for a perfect opening night at the Festival d’Aix.
After some performances, you just feel happy. So it was with the opening night of the 2019 Festival d’Aix.
TOSCA — PUCCINI
In what is magical for some and heretical for others, 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 [...].
Puccini’s opera was a triumph in Aix-en-Provence under the baton of Daniele Rustioni, principal conductor of the Opéra National de Lyon.
The filmmaker Christophe Honoré takes a new look—with mastery and intelligence—at Puccini’s work.
The elaborate scenic design and the meticulously regulated stage guarantee a memorable production.
JAKOB LENZ — WOLFGANG RIHM
Jakob Lenz—a chamber opera by Wolfgang Rihm (born in 1952), and a veritable musical and psychological thrashing—became one of the keystones of the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence on July 5.
A Powerful Show
Andrea Breth’s staging of Wolfgang Rihm’s Jakob Lenz is virtually sublime.
THE SLEEPING THOUSAND — ADAM MAOR
Satirical, political and poetic, all at the same time.
The premiere of this first opera in Hebrew, which unites Israeli composer Adam Maor and author and director Yonatan Levy, was an audience favorite [...].
A joy of contemporary opera
RISE AND FALL OF THE CITY OF MAHAGONNY — KURT WEILL
Ivo van Hove's new staging of Mahagonny [...] is, quite simply, enjoyable.
[Esa-Pekka Salonen’s] conducting is reason alone to see this Mahagonny.
New York Times
The Festival d’Aix offers a great production of Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny.
The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny was of the scenic magnitude to equal the gigantic musical efforts emanating from the pit.
[Ivo van Hove’s] version of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s opera is timeless and compelling.
BLANK OUT — MICHEL VAN DER AA
The composer Michel van der Aa has fully integrated emerging technology with musical and theatrical ideas.
New York Times