— At the Festival

Published on June 23 2020

#THEDIGITALSTAGE

Festival d'Aix-en-Provence 2020 - #LASCENENUMERIQUE
© Irma Boom / Laurie Wagner

6—15 JULY 2020
10 DAYS OF FESTIVAL
100% ON LINE AND FREE!


2020 Edition: digital sparks

The 2020 edition of the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence has not been cancelled: it has simply been suspended. The productions are being postponed, but the sets are already coming to life in the workshops at Venelles, and certain teams will be rehearsing as of this summer, in compliance with national health regulations. Most of the Académie’s residencies and the Mediterranean Youth Orchestra sessions will be maintained, with the support of new technologies. Passerelles, the Festival’s socio-artistic and educational department, will be continuing its mission. The focus this year will once again be on rehearsals, artistic creation, performances, and the transmission of culture—the four pillars of the performing arts—in a vast artistic fabric with Aix-en-Provence at its centre. The energy of guest artists has remained intact, as has their commitment to bringing their works to life for audiences. We thus needed to adapt our programme, in collaboration with the artists; to make the staging lighter without sacrificing the ambition or the diversity of the content; and to play with various constraints in order to invent a different relationship with the audience. Thus, with over 100 major figures involved (excluding members of the orchestras), this edition will be proceeding its own way. Elsewhere, and differently. With this scène numérique—this digital stage—we wanted to offer you a glimpse of this edition, and to rethink the meaning and the purpose of the Festival so that we may better prepare its future.

10 days, 4 events per day

From Monday 6 July to Wednesday 15 July, #thedigitalstage will be offering a daily schedule of four events, available in part on Arte and France Musique, and in their totality on the Festival website, via a dedicated channel and through the Festival’s social networks. Each day will be organized around a specific theme.

In the early evening (at 7 p.m.), a recital or concert will be broadcast, most of which will come from the edition’s original programme, but in a revised form and with a revamped content in order to transform their relationship with the audience. There will be a wide range of formats, aesthetics and repertoires. Performances will include: the Balthasar Neumann Ensemble at the Théâtre de l’Archevêché, in an homage to Beethoven and to Mozart (an emblematic figure for this venue); the London Symphony Orchestra from its London studio, with a Franco-American programme dedicated to the people of Aix; and Sabine Devieilhe, Jakub Józef Orliński, Christian Gerhaher, Magdalena Kožená—accompanied by Sir Simon Rattle—and the Trio Sōra.

Then, at 9 p.m., there will be a rebroadcast of one of the Festival’s flagship productions, introduced by one of its artists—e.g., Waltraud Meier for Elektra (2013), Robert Carsen for A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2015), and Catherine Malfitano for Tosca (2019).

At noon, a panel discussion, with Pierre Audi, will give leading figures from this edition—Sir Simon Rattle, Kaija Saariaho, Susanna Mälkki, Thomas Hengelbrock, Simon Stone, Barrie Kosky, Amin Maalouf, Simon McBurney, Katie Mitchell and Leonardo García Alarcón—the opportunity to talk about the state of their professions and about artistic creation in general, in the very complicated circumstances throughout the world today.

Lastly, an early morning broadcast will highlight the day’s artistic events (including one of Patrice Chéreau’s last interviews, about Elektra) and a series of reports covering a variety of Festival activities this summer, as well as rehearsals, set installations and lighting tests, and digital residencies of the Académie and the Mediterranean Youth Orchestra—all proving that life goes on.

Thus, as we artists, audience members, and organizers gather together in the virtual realm, we will once again discover, among the multitude of sparks of this suspended edition, that very special spirit that sets the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence apart—in what the French philosopher Jacques Rancière would call the “distribution of the sensitive”—filling us with new vigour and new life.

THE WEBSITE OF #LASCÈNENUMÉRIQUE WILL BE ONLINE AS OF JULY 3RD ON LASCENENUMERIQUE.FESTIVAL-AIX.COM


FESTIVAL D’AIX-EN-PROVENCE
#THEDIGITALSTAGE

MONDAY 6 JULY
KEEP CREATING: INNOCENCE

All of the participants from this production, which was scheduled to premiere this summer, will meet for several weeks to begin rehearsals. The composer Kaija Saariaho, the director Simon Stone, and the singer Magdalena Kožená, in a panel discussion with Pierre Audi, the general director of the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, will examine the impact of the health crisis on the future of this kind of production, and will explain how the work can continue despite the constraints. Magdalena Kožená will perform a recital of Brahms, Dvořák, Debussy, Strauss, Martinů and Janáček, accompanied by Sir Simon Rattle. Esa-Pekka Salonen and Katie Mitchell’s production of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande (2016 Festival d’Aix) will be rebroadcast, with an introduction by Barbara Hannigan, thus completing this day structured around the theme of family units shattered by unspoken tragedy.

IN THE MORNING
A look back at Pelléas et Mélisande: Interview with Barbara Hannigan

NOON — PANEL DISCUSSION
« Keep creating: Innocence », with Kaija Saariaho, Simon Stone, Magdalena Kožená and Pierre Audi.
Moderator: Alain Perroux

7PM — RECITAL
Magdalena Kožená, mezzo-soprano
Simon Rattle, piano
Johannes Brahms, Antonín Dvořák, Claude Debussy, Richard Strauss, Bohuslav Martinů, Leoš Janáček

9PM — OPERA
Pelléas et Mélisande by Debussy conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen and staged by Katie Mitchell

TUESDAY 7 JULY
WHAT ARE THE FABLES FOR OPERA TODAY?

What words and what opera stories can best express today’s socioeconomic, political and environmental realities and the vivid thoughts and emotions they evoke in us? Amin Maalouf, a guest of the Festival’s “Opera Creation” residency, will discuss these topics with the director Peter Sellars and with the novelist, and the librettist of Innocence, Sofi Oksanen, as they take a fresh look at the idea of engaged art. Marie-Laure Garnier and Célia Oneto Bensaid will perform a recital of Quatre Instants, by Kaija Saariaho based on a text by Amin Maalouf, as well as songs by Sibelius, another leading figure in Finish music. The panel discussion on what fables work best for opera today will be extended with the rebroadcast of Emilio Pomarico and Joël Pommera’s production of Philippe Boesmans’ Pinocchio (2017 Festival d’Aix), introduced by Stéphane Degout.

IN THE MORNING
A look back at Pinocchio: Interview with Stéphane Degout

NOON — PANEL DISCUSSION
« What are the fables for opera today? », with Amin Maalouf, Peter Sellars and Sofi Oksanen
Moderator: Timothée Picard

7PM — RECITAL
Marie-Laure Garnier, soprano
Célia Oneto Bensaid, piano
Programme: Kaija Saariaho & Jean Sibelius

9PM — OPERA
Pinocchio by Philippe Boesmans, conducted by Emilio Pomarico and staged by Joël Pommerat

WEDNESDAY 8 JULY
KEEP DREAMING: REINVENTING SPECTACULAR ENCHANTMENT

Given the difficult circumstances the world is living through today, we must continue dreaming, and must therefore rediscover the key to artistic enchantment. While the great aesthetics of the past still inspire us, the current crisis has shown the importance of new technologies, as both alternative media and creative spaces. This will be the topic of the discussion between director Barrie Kosky, conductor Leonardo García Alarcón, and saxophonist, composer, and director of the Conservatoire de Marseille Raphaël Imbert. Jakub Józef Orliński is an excellent example of this new generation of artists who are equally at home in the classical and popular worlds. He will be participating in his own way: he will be cultivating his personal expression, accompanied by Michał Biel, in a recital, beginning with the songs of Händel and Purcell that paved his way to success, and then moving on to a large selection of Polish melodies of the twentieth century. A rebroadcast of Kazushi Ono and Robert Carsen’s production of Britten’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream (2015 Festival d’Aix), presented by Robert Carsen, will perfectly illustrate the theme of the day.

IN THE MORNING
A look back at A Midsummer's Night Dream: Interview with Robert Carsen

NOON — PANEL DISCUSSION
« Keep dreaming: reinventing spectacular enchantment » with Barrie Kosky, Leonardo García Alarcón and Raphaël Imbert
Moderator: Alain Perroux

7PM — RECITAL
Jakub Józef Orliński, contertenor
Michał Biel, piano
George Frideric Handel, Henry Purcell, Tadeusz Baird, Paweł Łukaszewski

9PM — OPERA
A Midsummer's Night Dream by Britten conducted by Kazushi Ono and staged by Robert Carsen

THURSDAY 9 JULY
ARTIST MOBILITY AND THE CHALLENGE OF BORDERS

One of the persistent unknowns of this edition has been: Will artists be able to cross international borders? This is but a new iteration of a problem that already exists for many artists, for economic, geopolitical and institutional reasons. What role can networks play to address this issue? Vincent Agrech, music journalist and former head of the Music Department at the Institut Français, will pose the question to Bernard Foccroulle, former director of both the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels and the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence; Kathryn McDowell, managing director of the London Symphony Orchestra; Michele Cantoni, general director of the Palestine Philharmonie; and Tom Leick-Burns, artistic director of Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg and member of enoa (the European Network of Opera Academies, founded and run by the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence since 2009). A recital by Paul-Antoine Bénos-Djian and Bianca Chillemi will take us on a journey through Spain and South America with twentieth-century melodies that exalt itinerant and marginalized artists. We will then return to Spain, and (re)discover the epitome of the mythical wanderer and the protean hero of Modern Europe, with a rebroadcast of Louis Langrée and Dmitri Tcherniakov’s production of Don Giovanni (2010 Festival d’Aix), presented by Marlis Petersen.

IN THE MORNING
A look back at Don Giovanni: Interview with Marlis Petersen

NOON — PANEL DISCUSSION
« Artist mobility and the challenge of borders » with Bernard Foccroulle, Kathryn McDowell, Michele Cantoni and Tom Leick-Burns
Moderator: Vincent Agrech

7PM — RECITAL
Paul-Antoine Bénos-Djian, contertenor
Bianca Chillemi, piano
Carlos Guastavino, Manuel De Falla, Alberto Ginastera, Ernani Braga, Santos Chillemi, Federico Mompou, Horacio Guarany, Alfonso Esparza Oteo, Tomás Méndez

9PM — OPERA
Don Giovanni by Mozart conducted by Louis Langrée and staged by Dmitri Tcherniakov

FRIDAY 10 JULY
THE 2020 EDITION: REIMAGINING THE FESTIVAL

The day’s highlight will be a concert performed at the Théâtre de l’Archevêché by the Balthasar Neumann Ensemble, conducted by Thomas Hengelbrock, in a programme that interweaves Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony (2020 marks the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth) with arias and duos by Mozart, performed by Véronique Gens and Stanislas de Barbeyrac. This reconnection with the Festival’s origins—Mozart at the Archevêché—will also serve as opportunity for John Allison, music critic at The Daily Telegraph, to ask Pierre Audi and certain conductors of the 2020 edition—Sir Simon Rattle, Susanna Mälkki and Thomas Hengelbrock—what they consider to be the significance and the purpose of the Festival, given the unique experience of this suspended edition. The homage to the style and spirit of Mozart’s will take full form with Simon McBurney and Eivind Gullberg Jensen’s production of Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress (2017 Festival d’Aix): the production presents a different way of rethinking opera’s role in our culture, as a cross between permanence and renewal. This rebroadcast will be introduced by Kyle Ketelsen.

IN THE MORNING
A look back at The Rake's Progress: Interview with Kyle Ketelsen

NOON — PANEL DISCUSSION
« The 2020 edition: reimagining the Festival » with Pierre Audi, Sir Simon Rattle, Susanna Mälkki and Thomas Hengelbrock
Moderator: John Allison

7PM — CONCERT
Balthasar Neumann Ensemble under the baton of Thomas Hengelbrock
With Véronique Gens, soprano and Stanislas de Barbeyrac, tenor
Ludwig van Beethoven, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

9PM — OPERA
The Rake’s Progress by Igor Stravinsky conducted by Eivind Gullberg Jensen and staged by Simon McBurney

SATURDAY 11 JULY
SUPPORTING CAREERS IN THE PERFORMING ARTS: TOWARDS MORE EQUALITY

Barriers to equal opportunities can arise throughout an artist’s carer. This subject will be the focus of a group interview with the director Katie Mitchell, who leads the Festival’s “Women Opera Makers Workshop”; Raphaël Pichon, director of the Pygmalion choir and tutor of the Women Conductors Mentorship; Émilie Delorme, director of the CNSMDP; and Estelle Lowry, director of Musique Nouvelle en Liberté. The discussion will especially focus on the role that institutes and schools of artistic studies can play, and the role that artist mentors can take on. In its own way, a concert by the Trio Sōra—devoted to Beethoven and Kelly-Marie Murphy—will also address the issue of programming women composers. The rebroadcast of Daniele Rustioni et Christophe Honoré’s production of Puccini’s Tosca (2019 Festival d’Aix), presented by Catherine Malfitano, will serve as a further opportunity to freely reflect on the highs and the lows of an artistic career at all ages. The morning show will pay tribute to Daniele Rustioni and the Orchestra of the Opéra National de Lyon, accompanied by Sabine Devieilhe, in a concert of music by Mozart, Rimski-Korsakov and Shostakovich.

IN THE MORNING
A look back at Tosca: Interview with Catherine Malfitano

Concert of the Orchestre de l’Opéra de Lyon conducted by Daniele Rustioni
Sabine Devieilhe, soprano
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Nikolaï Rimski-Korsakov et Dmitri Shostakovich

NOON — PANEL DISCUSSION
« Supporting careers in the performing arts: towards more equality » with Katie Mitchell, Raphaël Pichon, Émilie Delorme and Estelle Lowry
Moderator: Paul Briottet
In partnership with SACEM

7PM — CONCERT
Trio Sōra
Pauline Chenais, piano — Clémence de Forceville, violin — Angèle Legasa, cello
Ludwig van Beethoven and Kelly-Marie Murphy

9PM — OPERA
Tosca de Puccini dirigé par Daniele Rustioni et mis en scène par Christophe Honoré

SUNDAY 12 JULY
ARTISTIC CREATION AND HUMANITY’S IMPACT ON THE WORLD

How can we take on the extreme challenges of the Anthropocene, this era on which humankind has left an irreversible impact? The performing arts have tackled the subject in a concrete way, by addressing the issue of eco-responsibility and examining the concept of Anthropocene as it is manifested in works of art. Isabelle Moindrot, professor at the Université Paris 8 and expert in opera, will address these two topics with the stage director Simon McBurney, joined by the scholar and stage director Frédérique Aït-Touati and the landscape architect Bas Smets. For his debut at the Festival d’Aix, Christian Gerhaher, accompanied by Gerold Huber, will apply his Liedersänger talents to great works by Schubert and Berg, with variations on the theme of a soothing or tormenting nature representing reflections of the soul. The rebroadcast of Esa-Pekka Salonen and Ivo van Hove’s production of Kurt Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (2019 Festival d’Aix) will expand upon this contemplation of dystopia and the need to act.

IN THE MORNING
A look back at Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny : Interview with Esa-Pekka Salonen

NOON — PANEL DISCUSSION
« Artistic creation and humanity's impact on the world » with Simon McBurney, Frédérique Aït-Touati and Bas Smets
Moderator: Isabelle Moindrot

7PM — RECITAL
Christian Gerhaher, baritone
Gerold Huber, piano
Franz Schubert and Alban Berg

9PM — OPERA
Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny by Kurt Weill conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen and staged by Ivo van Hove

MONDAY 13 JULY
CREATING IN THE MEDITERRANEAN

This day will focus largely on the Mediterranean Youth Orchestra. Its two leading figures—Fabrizio Cassol, artistic director of the intercultural creation session (Medinea Session); and Duncan Ward, music director of MYO’s symphonic sessions— will discuss the issues that arise for musical creation initiatives in the Mediterranean. The morning show will feature a rebroadcast of a 2017 symphonic programme constructed around the figure of Sheherazade, conducted by Pablo Heras-Casado and with the participation of Virginie Verrez. The concert portion of the day will feature the Intercultural Medinea Session, which, under the leadership of Fabrizio Cassol, will be bringing together 10 young improvisers, present either at the Camargo Foundation in Cassis or, for those unable to travel abroad, in their home countries. Finally, the rebroadcast of Pablo Heras-Casado and Dmitri Tcherniakov’s production of Carmen (2017 Festival d’Aix), presented by Stéphanie d’Oustrac, will close this sequence devoted to the Mediterranean.

IN THE MORNING
A look back at Carmen: Interview with Stéphanie d’Oustrac

Symphony Concert of the Mediterranean Youth Orchestra conducted by Pablo Heras-Casado with the participation of Virginie Verrez
Christina Athinodorou, Maurice Ravel, Nikolaï Rimski-Korsakov

NOON — PANEL DISCUSSION
« Creating in the Mediterranean » with Fabrizio Cassol, Duncan Ward
Moderator: Pauline Chaigne

7PM — CONCERT
Mediterranean Youth Orchestra Medinea - intercultural session
with 10 Young Improvisers - Fabrizio Cassol, conductor
Programme: A collective creation

9PM — OPERA
Carmen by Bizet conducted by Pablo Heras-Casado and staged by Dmitri Tcherniakov

TUESDAY 14 JULY
NEW FORMS, AND A NEW RELATIONSHIP WITH THE AUDIENCE

Artists and cultural institutions endeavour in general to renew artistic forms and practices, in order to improve their integration within their cities. Anthony Heidweiller, who leads the Festival’s “Opéra de-ci de-là” project, a laboratory of short works created by young artists in the heart of Aix; Mark Withers, mentor of the “Outreach Skills Workshop; Frédérique Tessier and Marie-Laure Stephan, representatives of Passerelles, the Festival d’Aix’s educational and socio-artistic department; and Philippe Franceschi, the choirmaster of Antequiem and the initiator and developer of the participative project “Accents Balkans,” will evoke their experiences, with a focus on inclusion, participation and, more generally, the work of transmitting knowledge, tradition and culture. The rebroadcast of Mozart’s Requiem, a non-theatrical work that was staged by Romeo Castellucci and then further integrated, along with some of the composer’s other works, into a production by Raphaël Pichon (2019 Festival d’Aix), will perfectly illustrate this new type of artistic experimentation. But first, a recital by Sabine Devieilhe and Mathieu Pordoy will mix lieder by Mozart and Strauss, highlighting the elective affinities that connect the two artists.

IN THE MORNING
A look back at Requiem: Interview with Raphaël Pichon

NOON — PANEL DISCUSSION
« New forms, and a new relationship with the audience » with Anthony Heidweiller, Mark Withers, Frédérique Tessier, Marie-Laure Stephan and Philippe Franceschi
Moderator: Louis Geisler

7PM — RECITAL
Sabine Devieilhe, soprano
Mathieu Pordoy, piano
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Richard Strauss

9PM — OPERA
Requiem by Mozart conducted by Raphaël Pichon and staged by Romeo Castellucci

WEDNESDAY 15 JULY
BUILDING A FUTURE: THE FESTIVAL IN ITS OWN REGION

#THEDIGITALSTAGE will be finishing with a flourish, with a concert by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Duncan Ward—the concert, to be performed at Saint Luke’s in London, will be specially dedicated to the people of Aix. A last panel discussion will focus on the Festival’s local integration and its regional partnerships, which provide it with a strong and unique base from which to build its national and international renown. Looking towards the future, Pierre Audi will discuss with Maja Hoffman, founder of the Luma Foundation in Arles; Macha Makeïeff, director of the Théâtre de La Criée in Marseille; and Jean-François Chougnet, director of the Mucem. Together, they will evoke the principles and projects that help motivate players in the world of culture to transform the hardships of today into the opportunities of tomorrow. Lastly, the rebroadcast of Esa-Pekka Salonen and Patrice Chéreau’s production of Richard Strauss’s Elektra (2013 Festival d’Aix), introduced by Waltraud Meier, will end this utterly unique edition in a blaze of glory.

IN THE MORNING
Archive interview with Patrice Chéreau on Elektra
A look back at Elektra: Interview with Waltraud Meier

NOON — PANEL DISCUSSION
« Building a future: the Festival in its own region » with Pierre Audi, Maja Hoffmann, Macha Makeïeff and Jean-François Chougnet
Moderator: Timothée Picard

7PM — CONCERT
London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Duncan Ward
Leonard Bernstein, Gabriel Fauré, Hector Berlioz, George Gershwin

9PM — OPERA
Elektra by Strauss conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen and staged by Patrice Chéreau